Forth Crossing savings revealed

Depute First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on site at Forth Crossing earlier this week.
Depute First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on site at Forth Crossing earlier this week.
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An unexpected multi-million pound saving on the new Forth crossing should be invested in council projects.

So said MSP Sarah Boyack this week after it was revealed that the final cost of the Queensferry Crossing was set to be £50 million lower than estimated last year.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that the budget for the bridge – due to open to traffic by the end of 2016 – was now between £1.35 billion and £1.4 billion.

It was revised down from the previous range of £1.4 billion to £1.45 billion.

Ms Boyack, Labour MSP for the Lothians, said local governments should benefit from the saving.

“I know from my work as shadow local government spokeswoman in the Scottish Parliament that our councils across Scotland are in a financial straightjacket because of the SNP’s underfunding of local government,” she said.

The announcement by Ms Sturgeon brings the total budget saving since the project started in 2011 to around £195 million.

Construction chiefs said the savings had been achieved through successful management of the project and favourable market conditions.

Carlo Germani, project director at the Forth Crossing construction company, said: “There haven’t really been any significant delays.”