- Jonny Moran (JM) - Transport Scotland
- Mike Dineen (MD) - Chair - Transport Scotland
- John Andrew (JA) - Transport Scotland
- Miles Oglethorpe (MO) - Historic Environment Scotland
- Karen Stewart (KS) - FB Area Tourism Strategy Manager
- Caroline Warburton (CW) - Visit Scotland
- Ken Gourlay (KG) - Fife Council
- Jo Noble (JN) - Network Rail
- Joanna Buggy (JB) - BEAR Scotland
- Chris Tracey (CT) - BEAR Scotland
- Gillian Laurie (GL) - Secretariat - BEAR Scotland
Welcome and Introductions
MD welcomed all to meeting 46 of the Forth Bridges Forum.
Apologies, Minutes of Previous Meeting and Actions
Apologies received from:
- Stewart Leggett
- Mark Dunlop
- Keavy O'Neill - Transport Scotland
- Chris Waite - BEAR Scotland
- Sarah Duignan
- Stewart Lothian - Network Rail
- Paul Lawrence
- Elin Williamson - CEC
- James Bruhn - HES
Minutes of previous meeting held on 25 October 2022 were agreed and subsequently published.
Action points were reviewed and updated as follows:
- Action 43.5 - WH Coordinator MOU - Ongoing - See item 4.1
- Action 43.10 - FBF ministerial briefing - Ongoing - See item 2.4
- Action 44.8 - Benchmarking for FB exp - Closed
- Action 45.3.1 - Sign status delivery to FRB - Closed
- Action 45.3.2 - Tourism minister availability for launch - Closed
- Acton 45.5.1 - Arrange FBF public meeting - Dec 2022 - Closed
- Action45.5.2 - Letter for new residents by CEC - Ongoing - See item 2.5
Tourism Update - Update provided by KS
Update on Forth Bridges Trial and press launch event and coverage.
Fb Website relaunched with focus on tourism.
FB Trial tourism signage, phase one signs all in place. Tourism group have agreed funding for phase two, provisionally an additional 17 signs.
Social media growth trend continuing, Facebook reach 3.7 million, Instagram 21,400 in 2022.
Events for 2023 shared, GL adding to Events log. 4 March 2023 is both UNESCO World Engineering day and Forth Bridge anniversary. MO asked this is discussed at next WHMG meeting. 2024 is 60th anniversary of FRB. JM and JA advised there is a Bridges Anniversary group.
Marketing group updating delivery plan for 2023 - 2025.
Green Freeport - MO will follow up with Peter Galloway at Bidwells.
Beamer Rock proposal for NQ harbour in development with input from the NQHT and NQCC, subject to successful lottery or other funding.
NQ local action plan - BEAR / TS progressing new cycle slipways at FRB steps in North Queensferry following a request for better accessibility from the NQLAP forum.
CEC improvement project with active travel enhancement.
Queensferry museum - JA contacting KG for update on progress of reopening.
CT advised that BEAR continue to work to get the pedestrian and cycle counters operational on FRB. MD advised that counters are on viewing platform. CT will check these are working.
World Heritage Management Group Update – Update by MO
Funding for WH Coordinator has been confirmed by Network Rail with financial contribution from HES. MO will meet with Alasdair MacFarland and Gordon Mole. MO and MD wish to thank Network Rail and JN for this post funding confirmation.
WH Management Plan will progress when WH Coordinator is in post. Much of work within the plan is currently covered by Network Rail and many other actions are being progressed i.e. signage.
Forth Bridges Forum Update – Update by MD
FBF public meeting was held on Tuesday 6th December 2022. Attendees 11, fewer than anticipated.
Questions raised include use of slip road at Echline roundabout for local traffic.
JB advised the newsletter has not yet been shared but will be son however there are now only 39 subscribers to the Forth Bridges Forum website. Public meetings and newsletters can be resource intensive, discussion on value to continue both. Should public meetings only ne held when there is something significant to share and communications to local community shared in a different way? JB suggested if public meetings do continue bi-annually then spring and autumn many be better than summer and winter.
MO added that the WH infrastructure meetings are on hold until the World Heritage Coordinator is in place.
Telescope - Limiters are still under consideration, install anticipated April at the earliest.
Queensferry Crossing and Forth Road Bridge - Update by CT
Forth Road Bridge – number of schemes progressing into next financial year, mainly below deck so minimal impact or disruption to the public. One footpath will remain open throughout.
Winter moratorium mitigation agreement ensuring one lane in each direction remains open if a diversion from QC is required.
Queensferry Crossing – Cable cleaning complete, will not be repeated next winter. No ice accretion events this year, possibly due to cleaning however previous ice events have occurred in Jan/Feb.
Foundation work will begin in March for semi-automated barriers, the barriers will allow quicker diversion to FRB during period of prolonged ice accretion.
QC main tower lights will have to be on if ice accretion is forecast.
JM advised the CAV Forth trial is continuing, BEAR Scotland Network team to continue dialogue with Transport Scotland.
2023 UCI Cycling World Championships taking place from 3rd to 13th August. Embargo on traffic management likely for 2 weeks prior, 1 week after but all TBC with TS Roads – Operations with Network Maintenance. 8th August event will be at Queensferry Crossing.
Communications Group - Update by JB
Quarterly Forth Bridges website analysis shared. The number of users of the website are lower however pick up likely during spring and summer as visitor numbers increase.
GL shared enquiries via FBF mailbox for last quarter is 16 with majority for BEAR Scotland.
Network Rail - Update by JN
Forth Bridge Experience – revised design going through planning consent. Business case complete, all passed to Transport Scotland. JN taking forward paper to Executive team February. Affordability review will determine the way forward.
Any other business
JB advised group that a meeting with GSi Events is planned for early February to discuss potential Supernova event on FRB.
Date of next meeting - 25 April 2023