Queensferry Crossing review delay concerns raised

Pic Lisa Ferguson 30/11/2019. '''Queensferry crossing at rush hour.
Pic Lisa Ferguson 30/11/2019. '''Queensferry crossing at rush hour.

Local MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton and local councillor Kevin Lang have raised concerns about further delays to the Queensferry Crossing one year review.

Mr Cole-Hamilton wrote to the government asking when the one year review will be published. Last week, Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, confirmed that Transport Scotland anticipates receiving the draft in spring 2020.

However, it has been over two years since the Queensferry Crossing was given full motorway designation and the review was due in February 2019. Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “A two year delay is just not good enough and will be deeply concerning to communities who have raised concerns about traffic flow around South Queensferry since its opening in 2017.

“I hear from local residents who are frustrated by the impact of the bridge on their daily lives and have been asking for small alterations, including re-opening of the South Bound A90 slip from the old Echline Roundabout at South Scotstoun, which would take a lot of pressure off Dalmeny village at peak times. Every time I ask about residents’ concerns about traffic flow, they continue to refer me to the non-existent, and now hopelessly delayed, one year review.”

“On top of this, last year, the government confirmed they had no plans to replace road signage directing people to the old Forth Road Bridge even though motorists caught using the old bridge now face a fine. For all these reasons the Queensferry Crossing remains unfinished and the SNP Government have little to crow about their infrastructure credentials.”

Councillor Lang said: “People in Queensferry are fed up with the dither and delay from Transport Scotland. The new crossing and roads layout completely changed traffic flow around Queensferry. It’s why residents called for some small changes, which would help address some of the congestion bottlenecks.

“Yet here we are, almost 900 days on from the opening we still don’t even have a report, let alone a commitment of action.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Throughout the entire lifetime of this project we have endeavoured to engage with local communities, listen to their views or concerns and respond as best we can. We will continue to do this through the Forth Bridges Forum and via our operating company.

“We have already taken a number of steps to address the concerns of local residents and road users, such as altering the sequence of traffic signals on Queensferry junction to aid better traffic flow and installing ‘keep clear’ boxes on the roundabout.

“We appreciate there may be some frustration while the year one report is under preparation. Given the scale and significance of the project there is a need to collect primary data to ensure the robustness of the evaluation.

“Also, to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to support the evaluation, both of which can take some time to complete.

“As set out in the Forth Crossing Act, the A90 slip road from Echline roundabout is part of the dedicated public transport corridor. Improving the reliability of public transport is a critical element of the overall project and is vitally important in our efforts to cut emissions and tackle climate change. The Act itself was subject to wide ranging consultation with the public and was passed by Parliament with near unanimous cross-party support.”