ICI Report Response

In response to the ICI Committee report into the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:

“We welcome many aspects of the ICI Committee’s report and will now carefully consider the conclusions and report back to Parliament later this year.

“We particularly agree with the finding that the defect, which led to the bridge being closed, has been recognised as “unforeseen”. It is clear the decision to close the Bridge was the right thing to do and the efforts in getting the bridge fully quickly reopened were a “remarkable engineering achievement” given the challenging conditions. The closure of the bridge was an incident of national significance and we remain grateful for the support of the business sector and local communities who were affected. During the closure, we took every opportunity to accelerate work on the Queensferry Crossing and Forth Road Bridge, minimising future disruption for the traveling public.

“The majority of the committee considered that the decision by FETA to defer work on the Truss End Links and to develop an alternative approach was an appropriate course of action. Had FETA believed there was a need accelerate this work to address a matter of public safety Transport Scotland would have provided financial support. As stated repeatedly during the inquiry hearings, FETA's key priority works were always fully funded within the ‎available maintenance budget and no further works were identified as safety critical by FETA.

“We believe there is a clear procedure in place for the closure of the Bridge and we have the same powers as FETA to immediately close it if there is an immediate safety risk. Now that the main priority of fully reopening the bridge has been achieved we are already making preparations for a full incident debrief to record what worked well and identify any opportunities to further improve performance. “

Published 11 Mar 2016