Bridging the gap with community

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The doors of the new Forth Replacement Crossing education centre open next month for anyone interested in finding out more about the biggest transport project in Scotland in a generation.

The contact and education centre (CEC) open days will be held on April 5 and 6 and April 26 and 27 to allow children and adults alike guaranteed access to the exhibition space, which is normally reserved for pre-booked parties.

The newly opened, purpose-built CEC provides a dedicated facility for schools, colleges and other groups to book educational visits and an access point for inquiries from local communities and the travelling public affected by the construction works.

The venue has panoramic views of the Forth’s current road and rail bridges as well as the construction of the new iconic crossing.

The building will also soon be the new home to a state-of-the-art Traffic Scotland national control centre for the Scottish trunk road network.

Lawrence Shackman, Transport Scotland’s FRC project manager, said: “We are aware there’s interest in seeing this impressive new facility, which is part of the Scottish Government’s wider commitment to ensuring a skills and education legacy for Scotland flowing from this once-in-a-generation project.

“That’s why we have made schools, colleges and other parties the priority for this facility.

‘‘However, we are pleased to be able to offer open days to ensure everyone gets a chance to view the facility and exhibition materials.

‘‘This is also helpful for us as we continue to develop the content and also gauge demand for more open access as the project develops, perhaps at weekends or during school holidays.”

Mr Shackman added: “Our first job is to ensure the bridge is built on time and on budget but this allows us to keep a track of interest and consider how we meet future demand that provides best value for the taxpayer.

‘‘It is also worth stressing that the CEC reception will remain open Monday to Saturday for anyone from the local community or further afield who has an inquiry about the works.”

Advance bookings for groups can now be taken via the project website, an opportunity which will be of particular interest to school and student groups looking ahead to the 2013/14 
academic year.

The CEC will be open to the general public between 10am-4pm on each of the four days.

Information on advance bookings can be found on the project’s website: www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/projects/forthreplacement-crossing/communities/Contact-and-Education-Centre/booking