Leap of Raith? Public asked to name bridge

The foundations of the new Forth Replacement Crossing are lowered into place
The foundations of the new Forth Replacement Crossing are lowered into place
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THE public will choose a name for the £1.6 billion Forth Replacement Crossing in a two-stage competition launched today, eighteen months after a ministerial U-turn over keeping its current title.

THE search for a name for the Forth Replacement Crossing prompted more than 200 suggestions within hours of being launched yesterday.

At the start of a two-month appeal by the Scottish Government for possible names for the £1.6 billion crossing, early offerings ranged from the predictable to the distinctly odd.

Along with the Third – or Fifth – Forth Bridge, in a nod to the existing two Queensferry bridges and two at Kincardine, there was also Leap of Raith, Bridgey and even Brian. Other entries included the 3/4ths Bridge, Third O’ The Forth, Highland Gate Bridge and Fife Fly Over.

The shape of the 700ft triple-towered cable-stayed bridge, which will dwarf the adjacent Forth Road Bridge, also inspired suggestions such as the Three Peaks, the Spinnaker Bridge, the Three Sails, the Big W and the Pyramids.

Further entries to the contest website, to www.scotsman.com and via Twitter and The Scotsman’s Facebook page, included Kingdom Bridge, Queensferry Bridge, Forth Span and St Andrew’s Crossing.

St Margaret’s Crossing was also suggested – a reference to Queen Margaret, the wife of King Malcolm III, who encouraged the original ferry link for pilgrims to Dunfermline and St Andrews.

Independence themes made an appearance, such as the Freedom Brig, Road to Freedom and the Independence Bridge.

However, there was also the Uniting the Kingdom Bridge, and the Union Bridge.

More controversially, the North British Road Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth II were also suggested – despite the current monarch’s historical namesake not reigning in Scotland.

Wry comment on the project was also indicated in names such as Bridge over the river why?

A seven-strong independent bridge-naming advisory panel has been appointed by ministers to draw up a shortlist in March, which will be put to a public vote.

The winner – the name with the most votes – will be announced in the summer.

The bridge, which is due to be completed by the end of 2016, was ordered by ministers because of doubts over the long-term strength of the Forth Road Bridge due to corrosion of its main support cables.

The panel comprises Scottish Youth Parliament chief executive Hamira Khan; North Queensferry Community Council member Jan Short; Queensferry and District Community Council chairman Keith Giblett; Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland chief executive Alan Simpson; Transport Scotland trunk roads director Roy Brannen; Historic Scotland acting chief executive Ian Walford; and Scottish Chambers of Commerce director and Dunfermline Athletic chairman John Yorkston.

Ms Khan said: “It’s only right for the next generation of young Scots to provide their input as they’ll be the ones travelling across the bridge for years to come.

“We look forward to ensuring the views of young people are taken into account during this process so the new name truly reflects the wishes of the people of Scotland.”

Suggestions can be submitted at www.namethebridge.co.uk until 31 January.