Transport Scotland statement - Audit Scotland FRC report
Responding to the publication of the Audit Scotland report on the Forth Replacement Crossing project, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“We welcome the findings in the Audit Scotland report.
“In particular the report highlights effective management of the project with a clear project scope and a budget which included all relevant costs. As well as the sound governance, wide-ranging risk management and quality assurance measures that were put in place. These measures helped to deliver significant savings with £245 million handed back to the Scottish budget by the FRC project.
“We have consistently praised the hard work and expertise of all of those involved in delivering this project. The report points to the wide-ranging skills and experience within the FRC project team, strong and consistent leadership, and positive working relationships developed with the contractor, enhanced by being collocated on site and recognises the extensive engagement and communication about the project with a wide range of stakeholders.
“The report provides welcome recognition of the project having delivered its objective of providing a more reliable road link between the Lothians and Fife. Since opening there have been 14 occasions on which the Forth Road Bridge would have closed to high sided vehicles due to weather conditions. Meanwhile, hard shoulders are helping to mitigate against the impact of accidents and breakdowns and the most recent data is showing a steady overall improvements in journey times.
“While it is too early to complete a wide ranging assessment evaluating the project’s outcomes, we accept the recommendations in the report and aim to carry out a full post-project evaluation in late 2018 detailing performance relating to journey times and traffic flows. This will include an assessment of the impact of improved network connections and junctions, and the project's contribution to economic growth and exploring what further support can be offered to public transport providers to meet any future increase in demand for travel across the Forth.
“As recommended in the report, the successful delivery of the FRC project has provided a number of valuable lessons learned that we utilise in our future work and we will seek opportunities to share these lessons more broadly within the Scottish Government and the broader public sector.”