CONCERNS over the creation of a massive works compound at Echline in Queensferry for the new Forth Crossing have been eased.
There had been major fears after initial plans proposed by Transport Scotland revealed a construction compound, which would house up to 300 workers, would be located close to residential housing at the western edge of Queensferry. The proposals were changed to relocate the compound further west on the opposite side of the proposed motorway which will link the new bridge. Either way, the work site and the associated traffic it would bring would have created traffic chaos for locals in and around that area for the duration of the bridge building process.
In recent weeks, however, the decision to create such a large compound in Queensferry has been withdrawn altogether and it will now be built on the north side of the Forth, close to Rosyth. There are plans, however, to still build a smaller compound for up to 50 workers with temporary storage facilities at Echline Fields.
The news has been welcomed this week by the community who are all thankful that the decision to move the compound over to Fife has been made.
Doug Tait, who lives at Echline Corner and is also vice chairman of BRIGS (Bridge Bridge Replacement Interest Group South) said: “It most definitely is excellent news for a significant number of residents in Linn Mill, Clufflats, Society Road, Springfield and Echline neighbourhoods, who firstly fought strongly against the original siting of the Construction Compound when it was proposed to be located hard up against their residences and then after successfully having it moved further west.
“We understand that Morrison’s, who represent the Constructors Consortium (FCBC), are responsible for the change of heart on this issue, as thankfully they recognised the obvious problems it would incur. Morrison’s have demonstrated a willingness to consult with local communities on construction related issues and they are restoring our faith in logical thinking too.”
Martin Gallagher, vice chairman of Queensferry and District Community Council, added: “It’s good news for residents in Queensferry but potentially not so good, however, for the businesses who could have derived extra business from the workforce being based on this side of the river.”
And Almond councillor Norman Work added: “It is one those quandaries because although the less disruption there is for residents in Springfield and Echline must be welcomed, businesses in Queensferry would be looking forward to more income from workers so it could turn out a win for the residents and a loss for the businesses.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland also welcomed the change of location, saying: “This will bring significant benefit for residents on the south side of the Forth with considerably lower volumes of site traffic using the permitted routes in the area than was originally envisaged.
“This is an early example of the contractor and Transport Scotland striving to minimise the impacts of essential construction activities on the local community wherever possible.”