South Queensferry is a town under a troubled bridge

South Queensferry businesses band together
South Queensferry businesses band together

The closure of the Forth Road Bridge has had a major knock-on effect for South Queensferry.

Businesses have lost trade and it had been reported the empty streets resembled a ghost town with the lack of people.

Bridge has been shut for over a week

Bridge has been shut for over a week

With over 100,000 people travelling over the bridge on a typical working day significant disruption has been caused.

Derek Dailly, general manager of the Hawes Inn on Newhalls Road in South Queensferry explained the last week had been incredibly stressful.

His business, like many others in the town, had lost reservations and was losing money.

He said: “We are about 20 per cent down on what we had originally booked in and this week may be more than that.

“The weekend was very quiet. Sunday was around half what we would normally take.”

With the bridge closed until at least January, it looked like these businesses would struggle through what should be the busiest time of the year.

However a new campaign has been launched by the local busineses declaring their love of the town.

‘I love South Queensferry’ was created as businesses try to remind local people the High Street is open as usual.

Manager of Maisies, a boutique in the town, Caley Morrison is hopeful the campaign will bring businesses together to tackle the problem of the bridge being closed.

She said: “The weather has been horrendous and the bridge is off limits, however we are all still open for business.

“We need the local people to come and support us and remember that this high street is full of excellent shops that have something for everyone.”

Aware of the ghost town connotation Caley was glad the town held a late night shopping event last night.

She said: “We were open until 9pm yesterday (Thursday) and had a great time showing everyone what is on offer.

“We held the same event last week and so many locals were completly unaware of what was on offer on their doorstep.

“With the roads quieter than ever, it is actually the perfect time to visit. You will have plenty of parking spaces to choose from and have a great day out.”

With the Facebook page steadily climbing in popularity, a video has been posted online highlighting all that goes on in South Queensferry.

Surrounding areas have not felt the closure of the bridge as much as South Queensferry.

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “There has been no major issues on the West Lothian road network as a result of the Forth Road Bridge closure. However, to help ease any congestion and to ensure that people can travel in and out of West Lothian as easily as possible, we have temporarily suspended road works in key areas.

“We will continue to review and revise the restrictions on roadworks on a day-to-day basis as the situation develops and we would encourage people to plan ahead and follow the guidance and advice issued by Transport Scotland.”

Bo’ness Councillor Sandy Turner said: “If anything the journey to Edinburgh and the East via the A993, A904, Queensferry and onwards is probably less likely to be subject to the delays due to the closure of the birdge.”