Call for engineers to close Forth Road Bridge

Call for engineers to close Forth Road Bridge

Senior engineers should have the power to close the Forth Road Bridge "without delay" in the event of an emergency.

That is the view of the Scottish Parliament's Infrastructure Committee, which wants a "clearer and more immediate" decision-making procedure.

Engineers currently have to seek permission from MSPs to close the crossing, something which can take several hours.

An inquiry report into the closure of the Forth Road Bridge last December revealed there was a five-hour delay between bridge operators Amey recommending the bridge be shut and the decision by ministers to close it. Engineers found a crack in part of the structure.

While the delay did not present any danger to motorists, the committee claims there is a lack of clarity as to who is ultimately responsible for closing the crossing and what protocol exists for making such decisions.

It says it should be possible for senior engineers to close the bridge without delay when there is a danger to public safety or an emergency.

The Forth Road Bridge was closed to all traffic for almost three weeks in December after a crack was found in part of the structure. Heavy goods vehicles were only allowed back on it in February.

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