HERITAGE watchdogs have condemned a plan to fund the Forth Road Bridge’s 50th birthday celebrations by hanging an advertising banner from the tops of its towers.
The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (Feta) will on Friday consider proposals to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for next year’s Forth Bridges Festival with 66ft-wide (20m) hoardings bearing sponsors’ logos.
The adverts, which could be placed on both towers, hundreds of feet above the carriageway, would remain for up for a year.
The Cockburn Association criticised erecting banners on the grade A listed crossing.
Director Marion Williams said: “In celebrating the structure, it seems a little perverse to hang banners or some form of advertising from the tower top, detracting from the bridge itself.
“I would hope sufficient sponsorship could be secured without going to such extremes.”
Feta said it had had interest from several potential sponsors.
Its spokesman said the scheme would require listed building consent, but local authority planning officials had advised that should not be a problem because it would not be a permanent change.
The spokesman stressed the banners would not distract drivers because of their height, and were aimed at being viewed from the shore.
Feta officials are checking to see whether the banners can be erected safely and securely, and without significant traffic disruption.
The spokesman said a precedent had been set with RBS sponsoring a Millennium clock on the adjacent Forth Bridge for 2000, which is also grade A listed.