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Thomas Queen, Solicitors and Estate Agents
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Traffic congestion to ease

By - Fri, 10th Feb 2006

Work is due to start on the A8000 bottleneck later this month. One of the worst holdups while crossing the bridge should be eased when complete.

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The much-anticipated strategic link from the Forth Road Bridge to the M9 and M8 will soon take a major step forward, with Forth Road Bridge operators FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority) ready to approve the main contract for the new road’s construction.

The 4.5km replacement for the A8000 will link the Forth Road Bridge with the M9 and M8, south west of the existing Humbie Roundabout. A total of 3km will be motorway standard, with the remaining 1.5km dual carriageway.

When construction is complete, notorious congestion blackspots such as the Humbie and Echline Roundabouts will be history.

The project is being funded by FETA, with grant aid and underwriting by the Scottish Executive. The City of Edinburgh Council, the local roads authority, is project managing the scheme.

Phase 1 began last year with the consolidation of old shale mines under the planned route. Tenders have since been invited for the main road works contract, and a report to the 24 February FETA Board meeting now recommends awarding the contract to Morrison Construction Services Ltd. Construction of the road is likely to begin in June 2006, with a target completion date of February 2008.

Councillor Lawrence Marshall, FETA convener, said: “This contract marks a major step forward for a very important project. I would like to ask bridge-users and local people for their understanding while construction of this vital new road is under way.

“The new motorway link will be especially helpful in reducing congestion for southbound traffic during the morning rush hour. It will make journeys over the bridge faster and more reliable, bringing local and regional economic benefits. And bus operators will be able to offer much-needed new routes across the Forth, especially between Fife and West Lothian.

“What’s more, the scheme includes a new cycleway between South Queensferry and Kirkliston, and traffic that currently clogs up local roads will be transferred onto the new motorway – good news for local residents and businesses.“

The total estimated cost of the scheme, including the main road works, is £39.6 million. The increase from the previous scheme estimate of £36.1 million in 2004 can be accounted for by a general escalation in construction costs since the scheme was first conceived, with the fact that the two lowest tenders were very close demonstrating their competitiveness.

FETA’s funding for the replacement of the A8000 falls within its broader remit to develop, support and fund schemes to reduce road traffic congestion on the bridge and encourage the use of public transport across the Forth. FETA’s primary responsibility is the maintenance and operation of the Forth Road Bridge itself.
The Forth Road Bridge, Mon 30th May 2005.

FETA – the Forth Estuary Transport Authority – operates the Forth Road Bridge. Its constituent members include representatives of four local authorities around the bridge. They are City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, Perth and Kinross Council and West Lothian Council.

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