Calls to widen access to new bridge for walkers
Huge demand for tickets puts pressure on Government to increase opportunities
The Scottish Government has come under pressure from MSPs to extend the number of days the Queensferry Crossing will be open to the public.
The £1.35 billion bridge will open to traffic at the end of August and members of the public will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk across it on September 2 and 3.
Nearly a quarter of a million people entered a ballot to win one of 50,000 places.
Now MSP Murdo Fraser is calling for the Scottish Government to open the bridge to walkers for another day or two.
“There is huge appetite from the public to take the historic first steps across the new bridge,” he said.
“Unlike the Forth Road Bridge, there will be no pedestrian access to the bridge so this will be the only opportunity for many to walk across it.
“The bridge is already months behind schedule and I fail to see the harm in closing it for an additional two days to accommodate those whose names were not pulled from the ballot.
“The opening of the Queensferry Crossing is a historic moment for Scotland I would hope that the Scottish Government will allow as many people as possible to play a role in this and especially those with a local connection in Fife.”
Fellow MSP Liz Smith added: “The communities bordering the bridge have had to cope with roadworks and delays throughout the build and at the very least should be rewarded with an opportunity to traverse the bridge.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Around 45,000 individuals have already confirmed their acceptance of the invitation to participate in the Queensferry Crossing Experience and we are on track to conclude the process this week, as planned.
“Around half of the entrants to the ballot are from post code areas local to the Queensferry Crossing and we expect that to be reflected in terms of the final selection of successful participants.”
He added the team had worked closely with the community councils of North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Rosyth and Queensferry and District, Newton and Kirkliston and will continue that dialogue to ensure that in addition to having an opportunity to enter the ballot, many local pupils, community groups and members of local communities have the opportunity to take part in the opening celebrations.
“In addition, there will be further opportunities for local participation in the official opening events, separate from the Queensferry Crossing Experience,” the spokesman added.
Almost a quarter of a million people entered a ballot to win one of the 50,000 places on the Queensferry Crossing Experience which will see the bridge closed to traffic for two days to allow members of the public to walk across it.