MSP wants noise guarantees as bridge set for go-ahead

MSPs preparing to approve construction of the new Forth road bridge tomorrow are being asked to give guarantees to residents worried about the noise and disruption they face for the next six years.

The Scottish Parliament is expected to give the go-ahead for building the new 2 billion crossing, with a completion date of 2016.

However, Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MSP Margaret Smith said that she wanted to ensure maximum protection for the people of South Queensferry and surrounding areas by writing into the Forth Crossing Bill a requirement for the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to keep residents informed during construction.

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She said: "I'm still concerned residents are going to be affected by unacceptable levels of noise and I have been liaising with noise officials at the city council.

"I want there to be ongoing engagement with the community, elected representatives and local businesses."

Since the beginning of planning for the new crossing, residents in the area have complained about Transport Scotland, accusing it of conducting a "sham" consultation and of being "unaccountable, evasive and frequently unresponsive" in its dealings over the bridge.

Martin Gallagher, of Queensferry and District Community Council, said noise was the biggest concern, particularly because the ability of the local authority to protect residents from excessive noise was being removed.