Consultation and community engagement have been at the heart of the FRC project since day one. So much so, in fact, feedback from local communities led to fundamental improvements to the original scheme design. We take our commitments seriously.
The contractual requirements placed upon our contractors and our ongoing monitoring arrangements are as extensive as, or greater than, you could find on any other comparable project.
We have a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week freephone hotline and a six-day-a-week drop-in contact and education centre for anyone with an enquiry or complaint to get direct access to the project team.
In addition, we recently held seven update briefing sessions at the contact and education centre on 30 and 31 January, which more than 200 people attended.
We also host two regular community forums (north and south), which allow community councils, community representatives and senior project figures from Transport Scotland and our contractors to get around the table and address any issues of concern.
On that point, it is inaccurate to suggest that Brigs is an “umbrella group” for the various affected community councils. It is our understanding this group – with whom we and our contractors have regular dialogue – comprises a number of people who had previously objected to the Forth Crossing Bill.
To provide some context, in the 19 months between August 2011 and February 2013, FCBC, the principal contractor, received an average of just over four complaints per month (79 in total) on issues such as noise and vibration, traffic management and isolated flooding.
These flooding incidents in the summer of 2012 were caused by exceptional rainfall prior to the planned installation of mitigation. Both these incidents and the widespread disruption caused elsewhere in Scotland by the unusually wet conditions were extensively reported by the media at the time.
While we have sympathy for the residents affected, we do not believe these incidents were caused by construction activity as your article asserts.
We take any complaint seriously and I’m confident FCBC is being responsive to issues when they arise. We will, of course, continue to closely monitor activity on the community’s behalf.
Given the sheer scale of the operations currently under way to construct the biggest transport infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation, I believe we are getting most things right.
However, we are acting quickly to resolve matters when something is not as it should be and I’m pleased that relations with all communities affected by the works continue to be friendly and constructive.
Forth Replacement Crossing project director
Port Dundas Road