A lorry load of worries

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CONCERNS have been raised after plans were announced this week for the closure of a lorry park in Queensferry.

Work is set to start within months to create the new contact and education centre at the Forth Road Bridge, but in doing so will see a section of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority’s car park, currently used by HGV drivers for overnight stays, to close.

The lorry park area will be reserved for staff, visitor and coach parking and it will be permanent, as additional car and coach parking spaces will be required to accommodate increased staff and visitor numbers once construction of the new building is complete.

This has now led to possible fears that up to 30 HGV drivers per night may look to park their vehicles elsewhere in and around the town.

While the FETA car park area, next to the administration block, is not an official lorry park, historically, HGVs have parked here as there are toilet facilities nearby and numerous food outlets too.

In years past when construction work on the Forth Road Bridge has been carried out and maintenance equipment sited in the lorry park, HGVs found alternative parking, mainly at Ferrymuir alongside NHS 24 and the Dakota Hotel. But due to minimal space there, this could lead to parking at Tesco car park, Bo’ness Road and even as far as Scotstoun Avenue.

Martin Gallagher, transport spokesman for Queensferry and District Community Council, said: “We have been in discussion with FETA, police and Transport Scotland in relation to the closure of the lorry parking facility and the impact it may have. We are keen to ensure that a strategy will be in place come August to minimise the possibility of vehicles parking elsewhere in Queensferry.’’

Mr Gallagher added: “We are pleased to see Transport Scotland have been in discussion too with Freight Scotland to publicise the proposed closure to its members and we will look to the police to take action if drivers decide to park elsewhere. There is a potential for lorries to park elsewhere in the town but if there is an issue we hope it will be dealt with swiftly.”

FETA convener Phil Wheeler said: “At the Forth Road Bridge we appreciate that the removal of HGV parking may cause some inconvenience to lorry drivers accustomed to using this site, however we’ve spoken to representatives of the haulage industry and they understand why this needs to happen.”

The nearest official lorry park to Queensferry is at Kingdom Services at Halbeath but it only has around 12 spaces. HGVs also park at the Welldean lay-by, just north of the Forth Road Bridge.