Queensferry Crossing could host more walks

More local people living near the Queensferry Crossing may get the chance to walk over the bridge, The Scotsman has learned.

The ballot for bridge walk tickets was oversubscribed by more than four and half times. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
The ballot for bridge walk tickets was oversubscribed by more than four and half times. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

There were 226,000 applications for the 50,000 walk tickets for the 2-3 September “Queensferry Crossing Experience”, more than half of them from locals.

Transport Scotland declined to give details of any extra walks but said: “Consideration is being given to what further can be done to accommodate local communities and we expect announcements on this will follow around the start of August.”

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This could involve more walks before the bridge opens to traffic on 30 August.

However, it may involve community groups being allocated places, rather than some of the estimated 90,000 locals who were unsuccessful in the ballot being given places.

The Scottish Government agency has already allocated walk tickets to local schools and community councils, and said further tickets would go to local groups and charities shortly.

It has also said that “many local school pupils, community groups and members of local communities” on either side of the Forth will “have the opportunity to take part in the opening celebrations”.

These are expected to include the Queen officially opening the bridge on 4 September - the 53rd anniversary of her opening the Forth Road Bridge, which it will replace.

Transport Scotland has also revealed that fewer than one in ten successful applicants for the walks had not taken up their tickets.

Nearly 5,000 tickets were redistributed among other applicants, compared to up to 20,000 that had been expected.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “The fact that in the first stage of the process, before reallocations are taken into account, a staggering 90 per cent of people accepted their invitation to the Queensferry Crossing Experience, is further evidence of the popularity and intrigue associated with this unique structure.

“The public clearly recognise this is a once in a life opportunity to get up close to a feat of engineering brilliance.

“There is a real sense of excitement and anticipation building ahead of the opening to traffic and walk the bridge events, and we will continue to explore additional opportunities given the huge public appetite.”