A high-level request to remove “confusing” signage nearing the Forth Road Bridge has fallen on deaf ears at Holyrood – and motorists could pay the price.
The request to the Scottish Government came from Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, who had received a number of complaints from aggrieved constituents.
They pointed out that signs are continuing to direct car drivers to the Forth Road Bridge, which is now out of bounds to any car that is not a taxi – and that those outwith those bracket now face fines for accessing the older superstructure.
However, it emerged this week that the Scottish Government is simply not willing to replace the signs with directions to the relevant route that is the Queensferry Crossing – after arguing that the bridge “is not a destination’’ – therefore they need not abide by the same criteria afforded to a visitor attraction.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Given that motorists caught using the Forth Road Bridge in private cars now face a fine, it seems strange that we should not update directional signs and mile markers with Queensferry Crossing signs instead. It’s mildly ironic that the Scottish Government argue their case by stating that the Queensferry Crossing isn’t a destination – after years of saying that people will travel from all over the world to visit it.”
His Liberal Democrat colleague Councillor Louise Young described the situation as “frankly unbelievable” and added: “We have received numerous complaints from local residents, who see cars routinely heading to the Forth Road Bridge, assuming it’s taking them the right way.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson stressed again that the bridge “was not a destination” and therefore did not require signage to direct road users.
He added:“The signage provided on the trunk road network is provided to direct road users to towns and cities. The road layout and signage in place on the approaches to the Queensferry Crossing are sufficient to direct traffic to use the appropriate bridge. In addition, clear signage is in place on the approach to the road bridge to inform road users what type of vehicles are permitted to cross it.
“A campaign was undertaken to inform local people and road users about what vehicles are permitted to use the bridge prior to it reopening as a public transport corridor in February. This was followed by a six month bedding in phase, where the police approach was to educate and inform drivers of unauthorised vehicles.”