New Forth Crossing firm’s speeding drivers fired

Work on the Forth Replacement Crossing. Picture: Dan Phillips
Work on the Forth Replacement Crossing. Picture: Dan Phillips
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LORRY drivers working on the Forth Replacement Crossing project have been sacked for breaking the speed limit around South Queensferry, MSPs were told today.

The revelation came as officials in charge of the £1.6 billion scheme were quizzed about a catalogue of residents’ complaints, including contractors’ lorries speeding and “aggressive” driving, such as tailgating other vehicles.

Project director David Climie told Holyrood’s infrastructure and capital investment committee that a total of 131 complaints had been received about the project, which also included noise, vibration and flooding.

Project manager Lawrence Shackman told the committee: “A sub-contractor has sacked some of its drivers for disobeying the speed limit.”

However, committee convener Maureen Watt said contractors should be more closely supervised because residents felt it had been left to them to complain about problems to project chiefs or the police.

Mr Climie said he had repeatedly raised such issues with the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium (FCBC) which is building the bridge, and it would again be a “key item” at his next meeting with them tomorrow. He said: “It’s something we have been pushing very hard with FCBC.”

Complaints about the main bridge construction contract, which FCBC are responsible for, included 29 over vibration and noise, 13 on “traffic management” including speeding, nine on lorries and eight on flooding.

There have been a further 52 complaints about the upgrading of junction 1a on the M9, which was built by a separate consortium, Sisk Roadbridge Civil Engineering.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “We expect anyone working on the Forth Replacement Crossing to view safety as a top priority, be that on the construction site or any aspect of the road network.

“We are confident that our contractors and the wider network of sub-contactors are fully aware of this and will manage their staff accordingly. Staff discipline measures are a matter for the companies involved.

“Given the sheer scale of the operations currently under way to construct the biggest transport infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation, we are confident our contractors are being responsive to community issues when they arise but will continue to monitor this closely as a matter of course.”

Edinburgh City Council transport convener Lesley Hinds said: “We are aware of the residents’ concerns about the state of the road and footway and are supporting Transport Scotland and FCBC in their efforts to actively maintain the condition of the road during these works.”