The FRC and you
Consultation and engagement with affected communities is at the heart of the Forth Replacement Crossing project.
- Engaging with communities
- Community forums
- Working groups
- Past consultation
- Project updates
Our work with communities began with the early feasibility and option reports.
It continued through developing the design, identifying land requirements and environmental impacts and minimising disruption to affected communities during the five and a half year construction period.
In September 2008, in an innovative move for major infrastructure projects in Scotland, we published our commitments and proactive approach to encouraging public involvement in the FRC in the Engaging with Communities guide (PDF, 3.6 MB).
Our approach was designed to ensure that:
- Arrangements for participation are inclusive, open and transparent and a wide range of participants are encouraged to get involved at the appropriate time
- Information is provided at key stages to allow for the fullest consideration
- Communication takes place using a range of methods in a range of locations
- All representations are fully considered and feedback provided
The guide was recently updated in June 2014. This document sets out our ongoing commitment and the procedures we have in place to ensure affected communities are kept fully informed and are easily able to contact the project team with enquiries or complaints.
The document also outlines progress that has been made to date and looks briefly beyond the construction phase of the project, to the maintenance aspects of the Queensferry Crossing.
Transport Scotland established a series of regular community forums for the Forth Replacement Crossing as part of its commitments under the project’s Code of Construction Practice.
These forums are chaired by Transport Scotland and bring together representatives from affected communities with the Contractors to proactively share information about the project and agree approaches to community engagement and consultation.
Following a consultation workshop attended by representatives from local community councils and interest groups, it was decided to establish three geographically focussed forums:
- North Community Forum
- South Community Forum
- The Junction 1a Community Forum has concluded following delivery of that scheme in early 2013
- Minutes from Community Forum Workshop, 31 March, 2011
The forums have standing members from local Community Councils and other organisations and members of the public are welcome to attend as observers. The forums will be held on a quarterly basis as a minimum.
One of our key considerations has been to plan and manage construction work to minimise any negative impact on users and local communities.
An extensive consultation process was undertaken to identify suitable construction compound locations and develop a Code of Construction Practice.
Forth Replacement Crossing working groups have been established and are chaired by Transport Scotland/Employers Delivery Team.
The Contractor will consult the appropriate groups before carrying out any applicable works.
In addition, the group will make recommendations to Transport Scotland/Employers Delivery Team to take into consideration when agreeing a resolution if any disputes arise.
Marine Liaison Group
This group is consulted by the Contractor regarding proposals to manage construction activities within the Firth of Forth and limit disruption to navigation. It includes representatives from the navigation and harbour authorities, the operator of Rosyth Dockyard and the emergency services.
Environmental Liaison Group
This group is consulted regarding all other environmental matters defined in the CoCP. It includes representatives from the local authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Marine Scotland and Historic Scotland.
Traffic Management Working Group
This group is consulted by the Contractor regarding the proposals to limit disruption to the road network. It includes representatives from trunk and local road authorities and the emergency services.
Noise Liaison Group
This group provides oversight of all aspects of noise planning, control during construction and monitoring. The group includes representatives from each of the relevant local authorities and Scottish Natural Heritage.
The FRC has set a new standard in engagement with directly affected communities and other interested parties on infrastructure projects in Scotland. Engagement was built into the heart of the project from the start and communications has always been one of the key elements of project delivery.
Consultation began in 2006 as part of developing the Forth Replacement Crossing Study, which formed the basis for the December 2007 announcement to proceed with the construction of a cable-stayed bridge.
A sustained programme of engagement with scores of organisations and thousands of individuals was undertaken throughout 2008 and 2009, culminating in the introduction of the Forth Crossing Bill in November 2009, when the formal statutory process began.
These activities were programmed to take place at specific stages in the project’s development to communicate and gather feedback on new findings and information, options and important decisions. This was carried out across four separate but complementary programmes:
Communities, interested parties and general public
- More than 40 separate meetings and briefing sessions held with community councils, community groups, residents and resident groups, business and industry groups and elected representatives
- Five separate rounds of briefings with a full range of local community and stakeholder representatives: Introductory (Spring-Summer 2008); Managed Crossing (January 2009); Improvements to Road and Junction design (Spring 2009); Landscaping, mitigation and construction (May-July 2009); and Concluding Community and Resident briefings (October 2009).
- Public exhibitions in 12 locations across Edinburgh, Fife and West Lothian over 11 days in January 2009. More than 2,200 attendees and just over 200 separate consultation responses.
- Further public exhibitions displaying the final proposals in the Forth Crossing Bill held in Edinburgh, South Queensferry, North Queensferry and Kirkliston (November 2009)
- Seven Community Information Displays in public libraries or other public locations on specific aspects of the developing project
- A further 14 Community Information Points in libraries or community centres to distribute newsletters, leaflets and reports as they were published
- 15 electronic “ezines” emailed to more than 3,000 subscribers
- Five printed newsletters and a series of information leaflets, guides and reports on topics such as consultation feedback, environmental surveys, compensation and construction
- More than 20 separate news releases along with numerous statements and media briefings
- This dedicated project website was launched and kept regularly updated
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- More than 160 consultees
- More than 60 consultation meetings with environmental interest groups and mandatory consultees.
- EIA also key feature of public exhibitions (January 2009) and Community Information Displays (August 2009)
Engineering and Design
- Meetings, briefings, open dialogue via correspondence with relevant organisations to inform development of route corridor options and design of the scheme.
- Consultees included: Local Authorities; Civil Aviation Authority; British Airports Authority; Network Rail; British Telecom; Scottish Water; Scottish Power; Architecture + Design Scotland; Forth Estuary Transport Authority; businesses such as Babcock and Forth Ports and Police, Fire and Ambulance Services.
- Main strands of consultation were landowner identification followed by arranging site access for survey works and consultation regarding the design of the scheme.
Various elements of the scheme were improved or amended following feedback.
- Location of the South Queensferry Junction moved further west to connect directly with A904 on the western edge of the town
This design improvement was prompted by feedback from the community in South Queensferry which highlighted concerns about the visual impact of the road embankment and a desire to move the junction to another location to reduce traffic levels on Builyeon Road and provide more direct bus access.
By moving the junction west, Transport Scotland was able to engineer a solution which provides a substantially lower embankment and, at the same time, a more direct access onto the trunk road network for the majority of local traffic. This will relieve some of the most populated areas of South Queensferry which currently experience a significant amount of southbound traffic travelling west from the Forth Road Bridge.
Other amendments made following feedback were:
- Inclusion of north and south public transport slip roads onto the A90 at South Queensferry to give access to and from the Forth Road Bridge and A90.
- Revision of Ferrytoll Junctionand realignment of B981 from North Queensferry
- Removal of Park and Ride at South Queensferry
- Various amendments to mitigation and landscaping at Dundas Home Farm
- Assessment and identification of alternative location for construction compound to the west of Echline field in response to concerns over neighbourhood impacts
Contact & Education Centre
Our Contact & Education Centre is designed as a focal point for on-going community engagement and education during the project's construction. Find out more.
In keeping with a major public infrastructure project of this scale, a thorough assessment of the environmental impacts of the Forth Replacement Crossing, during construction and operation, was undertaken as part of the Forth Crossing Bill.
Where practicable, mitigation to avoid or reduce these impacts is identified and is being implemented as part of the scheme.
Four Working Groups are in place to approve all work undertaken by the contractor to ensure the best practical means is used.
Details of potential impacts, mitigation and residual impacts are presented in the Environmental Statement. These cover:
- land use
- geology, contaminated land and groundwater
- water environment
- terrestrial & estuarine ecology
- cultural heritage
- air quality
- noise and vibration
- pedestrians and non-motorised users
- vehicle travellers
- disruption due to construction
- policies and plans; and
- cumulative impacts.
Ecology and wildlife
Potential impacts on marine and terrestrial wildlife have been carefully considered during the design of the Forth Replacement Crossing.
Scottish Natural Heritage has been consulted throughout the project, regarding the scope and methods of assessment and mitigation to avoid, reduce or offset potential impacts to habitats, species and designated sites from the proposed scheme.
Transport Scotland continues to work with environmental organisations to address specific mitigation measures for wildlife affected by the scheme.
Proposed mitigation includes a low noise road surface where necessary and noise screening, including bunds and barriers up to 4m high. The Environmental Statement shows that the proposed mitigation is effective in mitigating the adverse effects that would arise.
Additional mitigation such as roadside noise barriers is only proposed for those areas where significant adverse effects have been forecast.
Air quality and light pollution
The Air Quality Assessment demonstrates that the Government's Air Quality Strategy objectives and European Union limit values (set for the protection of human health) will be met with or without the proposed scheme at all residential properties.
Future light levels would not be increased by the proposed scheme.
The functionality of the installed lighting will allow for dimming and remote control for future energy reduction to support government objectives to reduce carbon emissions, pollution of the night sky and to reduce impacts on the rural landscape where this can be achieved safely and effectively.
The project’s Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) has been agreed with SEPA, the regulatory authority for pollution of watercourses. These are dry detention basins that provide temporary storage of runoff rainwater.
As such, stagnant water and anaerobic conditions are unlikely to occur and we do not consider there to be impacts relating to smell or health. Regular maintenance, which will remove build up of vegetation and sediment, is required as part of the Environmental Statement commitments.
The SUDS detention basins will be fenced off to prevent unauthorised access.