Project Scotland

Inquiry announced for Forth Road Bridge closure

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A parliamentary inquiry is to be held into the closure of the Forth Road Bridge.

Commuters and businesses have faced widespread disruption since a crack in a truss under the bridge forced the Scottish Government toclose the bridge on December 4.

Now the Infrastructure and Capital Investment (ICI) Committee has announced an inquiry with a remit to “examine the management, monitoring and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge principally in the 10 year period prior to its closure”. The committee said the focus would be on the structural defects identified and whether these couldhave been avoided or dealt with differently.

The move follows calls from opposition parties at Holyrood for an inquiry.

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Alex Rowley said, “There appear to be a string of issues around the Forth Road Bridge going back years.”

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser added, “There has been a great deal of speculation that the bridge closure was the result of inadequate maintenance. With such an inquiry, we can find out thetruth of the matter, and make sure vital lessons are learned for the future.”

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said,  “I welcome the ICI committee’s decision to hold an inquiry, once the bridge has reopened, and I look forward to participating in that process.

“I am confident that when the engineers – including those with 30 years’ experience of working on the FRB and the independent experts – get the chance to provide evidence to the committee, including the unpredictable nature of the fault, then people will see that the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland have taken difficult but decisive action and have behaved in a responsible manner.”

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