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Forth Road Bridge
Forth Road Bridge

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1 The Forth Road Bridge

Edinburgh reaches over the Firth of Forth with two great bridges – the photogenic Victorian Forth Rail Bridge and the slender 1960s Forth Road Bridge. The latter suspends the road from cables, but it is being threatened by rust. Water has found its way inside the cables, causing them to rust and weaken. It is predicted that in 2014 they may have to stop heavy goods vehicles using it and possibly close it altogether in 2019.

The following video, an extract from BBC's Coast Series 3, examines many of the issues facing the Forth Road Bridge.


Timing: 0 hours 30 minutes

The deteriorating condition of the Forth Road Bridge has led to the Scottish Government recommending the development of a new cable-stayed bridge to the west of the existing Forth Road Bridge. There is some opposition to the construction of a second crossing rather than a replacement bridge because it is felt that this will lead to an increase in road traffic.

Watch the video extract from Coast, linked below, and consider:

  1. the risks associated with an increase in road traffic (for example pollution and congestion on arterial routes);

  2. the effect on local communities of building a new bridge;

  3. what measures could be taken to reduce road traffic over the Forth, for example, investment in public transport alternatives and reducing the number of single occupancy cars and HGVs.

You may wish to share these thoughts with fellow learners by posting your ideas in the Comments section below.

Click to view the video extract (8 minutes).

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Forth road bridge
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