Forth Road Bridge
|Forth Road Bridge|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|West Lothian • Fife|
|Free. Toll abolished 2008|
The Forth Road Bridge (not to be confused with the much older Forth Bridge, a railway bridge) is a suspension bridge carrying road traffic on the A90 over the Firth of Forth. It was opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth on 4 September 1964 and was a toll bridge until this was abolished by the Scottish Executive in 2008. It is a vitally important link between Edinburgh and Fife for both commercial and commuter traffic. Following concerns about the bridge's longevity and the need for increasingly disruptive maintenance the Forth Replacement Crossing project built a replacement bridge along with new approach roads. The existing Forth Road Bridge has been retained for use by buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians.
Though not a motorway, it opened simultaneously with the first motorways in Scotland - a short section of the M90, which formed part of the northern approach to the bridge, and its short spur the A823(M).
Plans for a crossing had been around since the 1920s. J Inglis Ker had advanced a proposal in 1924 for a road bridge between North and South Queensferry with an estimated cost of £3.5m. Proponents pointed to projects such as the 1595 feet (486 m) Brooklyn Bridge in the USA, and noted the benefits for Scottish steel and other industries.
The Joint Committee of Inquiry on the Forth River Crossings reported in 1933 after 3 years of deliberation, recommending either a new bridge or substantial improvements to the ferry. It suggested a bridge at a location similar to the current one, from either Port Edgar or South Queensferry to North Queensferry. It estimated a cost of £6m, of which £4m would be paid for by the reduction in unemployment benefits to workers contracted on the bridge. A toll of 1 shilling was suggested, with an expected 6000-8000 vehicles per day.
In 1935 a civil engineer called Leitch suggested a suspension bridge with two 2400 ft spans centred on Inchgarvie, just to the east of the rail bridge. In 1936 the Transport Ministry rejected proposals for a bridge at Queensferry; the Scotsman newspaper included detailed discussions, reporting an expected traffic flows of 2000 vehicles a day and a planned toll of 3 shillings per crossing. Meanwhile, the Kincardine Bridge was built further upriver, opening in 1936.
- Span - 3,300 feet, the longest span in Europe when opened
- Total length - 1.5 miles
- Towers - the two main towers are about 500 feet high
- Cable length - each cable is 7000 feet long
- Cable weight - 8,000 tons
- Wires - 11,618 parallel wires and enough to go round the world 1.25 times
- Cost - £20 million
|Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh, Airport||Spur to M9 J1a. Replaced the highly congested A8000.|
|Kirkcaldy, Tay Bridge, Dundee|
|Rosyth||Ferry terminal to Zeebrugge|
|M90(N), Inverkeithing, Rosyth||Restricted traffic|
|M90(S), South Queensferry, Edinburgh||Restricted Traffic|
|Glasgow, Airport||Spur to M9 J1a. Replaced the highly congested A8000.|
|Glasgow (M8), (M9), Airport|
- The A90 Trunk Road (Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing Approach Roads) (Prohibitions on Use and Stopping and Bus Lane) Order 2018
- The A90/A9000 Trunk Roads (Forth Road Bridge, and Queensferry Crossing and Forth Road Bridge Approach Roads) (Speed Limits) Order 2018
|Forth Road Bridge|