New Forth bridge names revealed as public decide
IT could have been named the Rab C Nes-bridge, the Haggis Highway, the Kate Middleton Bridge or even simply Kevin.
But after months of sifting through more than 7,500 suggestions for what is destined to become the most iconic landmark in Scotland for a generation, a shortlist of names for the new Forth Crossing has finally been decided.
The odder and more colourful suggestions have been rejected, as have the rather grander ideas such as the William Wallace Bridge or the Freedom Crossing.
Instead, the Scottish public will now vote for their favourite from a list of five including The Caledonia Bridge and the Saltire Crossing. The other suggestions are the Firth of Forth Crossing, the Queensferry Crossing and St Margaret’s Crossing.
Transport minister Keith Brown said it was important the process is as “inclusive and representative” as possible.
“The naming process has clearly captured the imagination of the public across all walks of life,” he said yesterday.
“I would like to thank those involved and, in particular, the panel members for their time and careful deliberation in drawing together the shortlist.
“We are determined this project will leave a positive legacy. There are a number of different ways to cast your vote – so there’s no excuse for not getting involved.”
The crossing is being built after corrosion on the suspension cables of the current road bridge threw its future into doubt, although there is hope that remedial work can prolong its life. The new bridge remains on schedule to open in 2016.
Voting will run until 7 June, with the most popular choice being announced towards the end of the month. The public can vote via the website www.namethebridge.co.uk, texting or by requesting a postal vote.
The website includes full details on the voting process and states that the winning name will be the one with the most votes, except in the case of a tie when the judging panel will have the final decision.
Professor Alan Wilson, a marketing expert at Strathclyde University’s Business School, said: “I’m not sure they’re that inspirational, but they’re sitting alongside a Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge which don’t have inspiring names either.”
Margaret was the former Queen of Scots who started the first ferry across the Forth, taking pilgrims to St Andrews and inspiring the name Queensferry.
“St Margaret’s probably is better than Firth of Forth Crossing and Queensferry is in the right location,” said Mr Wilson.
“But I just worry about Saltire and Caledonia being seen as a political statement rather than anything else. It’s fine if that’s what they want to do, but I’m not quite sure it describes to anybody where the bridge is or anything to do with the bridge.
“You would imagine the Caledonia or Saltire would be at the Border and link England to Scotland, but not in the middle of the country.”
Among the judges was Alan Simpson, former chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland, who said the crossing, with its two neighbours, will “show off the development of bridge technology over 125 years”.