of the proposals
main settlements to the north of the Firth of Forth include
Dunfermline, Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and North
Queensferry. Settlements to the south of the Firth of Forth include
South Queensferry, Dalmeny, Winchburgh and Kirkliston, as well as
smaller communities such as Newton and a number of individual
properties and farmsteads.
The careful design of the proposed scheme has ensured that no
property demolitions will be required. However, the scheme will
require part of the garden of Inchgarvie House for the main
crossing abutment at the southern bridgehead (the structure
connecting the bridge to the land).
The scheme may require a small amount of land from Hope Street
Cemetery in Inverkeithing and this has been considered in the
environmental assessment. The development of the detailed design
may, however, avoid the need for this.
Businesses in the vicinity of the FRC and those in the wider
regions of Fife and the Lothians will benefit from improved
accessibility as a result of the scheme. Some businesses may
experience adverse impacts, for example Deep Sea World as a result
of the loss of the overflow car park, and the Queensferry Hotel as
a result of disruption during construction and also possible
interruptions in views of the hotel for northbound traffic
travelling over the main crossing. Some areas used for recreation
will also be affected by the proposed scheme, including the western
edge of the playing fields at Kirkliston.
There are areas of high quality agricultural land located in the
vicinity of the scheme to the north and south of the Firth of
Forth. The proposed scheme will result in both the permanent and
temporary loss of some of this agricultural land and some
disruption to field access. Some land will be offered back to
farmers under statutory procedures to be returned to agricultural
use where practical. Accesses and boundary walls and fences will be
suitably reinstated to reduce overall impacts. Approximately 100
hectares of agricultural land will be lost overall, 74 per cent of
which is classed as prime quality agricultural land. Approximately
12.5 hectares of this land may be returned to agriculture after
The land use assessment also considered the potential for future
development in the area. Adverse impacts are anticipated for
several areas identified for future development to the south of the
Firth of Forth. The impacts on all but one of these areas relate to
the loss of fewer than 0.5 hectares of land. The exception is for
the Springfield Road housing and open space allocations to the west
of South Queensferry where construction of the proposed scheme will
require more than five hectares.
Contaminated Land and Groundwater
are two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated for
their national importance in terms of geology/geomorphology and
ecology in the vicinity of the proposed scheme:
- Ferry Hills SSSI will be impacted by the rock cut for the
proposed scheme. However, careful mapping of the weaknesses in the
rock and the implementation of SNH recommendations regarding rock
reprofiling will reduce impacts to a level deemed ‘not
significant’. Further refinement of the scheme design may
avoid the need for this rock cut.
- St. Margaret’s Marsh SSSI will potentially be impacted by
changes to groundwater flow and quality. Careful design and
construction of the B981 road embankment and monitoring both prior
to, during and after construction, will ensure that impacts are
successfully controlled and reduced to ‘not
The proposed scheme will not affect the geomorphologic interest
of the Firth of Forth SSSI.
The proposed scheme will carry risks associated with disturbance
of areas of contaminated land, such as former landfills, backfilled
quarries and former mining areas, however the risk of contamination
is considered to be low. The contractor will use recognised best
practice site management techniques to ensure that any risks to the
environment are controlled.
The assessment has also considered the impacts on aquifers and
private water supplies. No significant adverse impacts have been
identified. If required, groundwater flow and quality monitoring
equipment will be installed in selected areas to check impacts and
inform the need for further mitigation, or alternative supplies
will be provided. It is also proposed that the road drainage and
treatment systems will be lined in areas close to sensitive
aquifers or private water supplies in order to prevent potential
Environmentally sensitive waterbodies in the vicinity of
the proposed scheme include:
- the Firth of Forth
- St. Margaret’s Marsh
- the River Almond
- various minor burns and ponds including Niddry Burn, Swine Burn
and Linn Mill Burn.
Swine Burn will be realigned and requires a new crossing
structure, in the form of a culvert (a pipe taking the watercourse
under the carriageway). Existing culverts on Swine Burn, Niddry
Burn and a tributary of Niddry Burn will be extended. These works
have the potential to affect the form of the water channel and
increase flood risk. Careful design and the provision of
appropriate compensatory flood storage will reduce potential
impacts to ‘not significant’. The realignment of Swine
Burn will also improve the channel form.
A range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) for the treatment
and attenuation of road drainage will be provided to reduce
potential impacts on all identified waterbodies to ‘not
Measures will be implemented to reduce the risk of adverse
impacts on the water environment during construction. These will
reduce potential construction impacts to ‘not
significant’ for all identified waterbodies.
and Freshwater Ecology
are a number of sites in the vicinity of the proposed scheme
designated for their ecological importance. These include St.
Margaret’s Marsh SSSI, Ferry Hills SSSI and a number of
locally important sites which are protected through local planning
policy such as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs),
Local Biodiversity Sites and Local Wildlife Sites.
The River Almond and its tributaries are designated under
national legislation as ‘salmonid waters’ because they
support Atlantic salmon, sea trout and brown trout.
The range of habitats close to the proposed scheme includes
arable land and other farmland with smaller areas of wetland,
grassland, woodland and freshwater habitats. Some of these are
valuable habitats supporting protected species including badger,
bats, great crested newt and otter.
Measures to reduce and offset potential adverse impacts on
- creating and enhancing habitats through replacement and
- translocating important species such as maiden pink and
- providing bat boxes
- providing replacement badger setts and otter holts
- using mammal underpasses under the road and fencing to guide
animals to the tunnels
- including mammal ledges in new culverts
- ensuring that culverts and watercourse realignments are
constructed in accordance with best practice guidelines.
These measures will help to avoid or reduce impacts on habitats,
protected species and designated sites.
No significant residual impacts are predicted for the following
protected species during construction or operation:
- terrestrial wintering and breeding birds
- water vole
- red squirrel
- amphibians, reptiles and terrestrial invertebrates.
The assessment predicts negligible adverse effects on bats
during construction at Port Edgar Barracks and west of South
Queensferry, and low adverse effects on otter due to the
disturbance and severance of commuting routes along the River
Almond, Swine Burn and Niddry Burn.
During scheme operation, beneficial impacts are predicted
- North Queensferry and South Queensferry where the main crossing
will facilitate movement of bats across the Firth of Forth
- Swine Burn where river habitat creation and enhancement as part
of the watercourse re-alignment will benefit freshwater habitats
Consultation is ongoing to develop an appropriate agreement with
SNH for the management of wetland habitat at St Margaret’s
Marsh SSSI, which has the potential to achieve beneficial impacts
at this site.
Internationally important sites in the vicinity of the
proposed scheme include the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area
(SPA), Forth Islands SPA and the Firth of Forth Ramsar site. These
sites are designated for their international ecological importance
for birds. In addition, the River Teith Special Area of
Conservation (SAC), located approximately 35km upstream, is
designated under the Habitats Directive for its populations of
salmon and lamprey. The Imperial Dock Lock, Leith SPA is located
approximately 16km downstream and is designated for regularly
supporting breeding populations of common tern.
The Firth of Forth includes important areas of intertidal and
subtidal habitats, and supports migratory and non-migratory fish,
sediment-dwelling organisms, marine mammals (including dolphins,
whales and seals) and a range of estuarine birds.
Surveys confirmed the presence of a wide range of bird species
including 26 wildfowl species (ducks, divers and geese), 11 species
of gulls/petrel and 14 species of wader. Auk, cormorants and
herons, swans, raptor (peregrine), kingfisher and raven were also
recorded. A number of these species (some 23) are protected by
European and national legislation.
Measures which will be implemented during construction to reduce
impacts on estuarine habitats and species include:
- using best practice construction techniques and following
pollution prevention guidelines
- employing an Ecological Clerk of Works to supervise the works
including excavation and piling activities
- sensitive timing of construction activities, e.g. to avoid the
tern breeding season
- using acoustic deterrents during key construction periods to
discourage sensitive species from entering the area.
The detailed Reports to Inform an Appropriate Assessment which
have been prepared for all potentially affected international sites
will be used for assessment by the Scottish Ministers. These
reports conclude that the integrity of the sites of international
importance will not be affected by construction or operation of the
Construction of the main crossing will require excavation on
Beamer Rock, required for the central pier foundation and piling
activities. Noise and vibration from construction will cause some
disturbance to wildlife (including fish, estuarine birds and marine
mammals), however the impacts will be short term and carefully
controlled. There will be a loss of benthic habitats (habitats on
the bottom of the Firth of Forth) but it is anticipated that fauna
and flora will rapidly recolonise and populations of fish and
estuarine birds are expected to return to the area once
construction activities cease. The area affected by permanent
impacts in the Firth of Forth is small compared to the total area
of intertidal habitat within the estuary and it is likely that the
main crossing structures will create a small amount of new
intertidal hard substrate habitat.
The Firth of Forth is a maritime landscape of intertidal shores,
islands and harbours where the prevailing weather and light
conditions provide a dramatic setting for the iconic Forth Road
Bridge and Forth (rail) Bridge.
To the north, the landscape of Fife’s coastal terrace is
dominated by settlements and industry. Infrastructure is also
prominent, with roads and railways cutting through the steep wooded
cliffs and braes.
South of the Firth of Forth, the historic town of South
Queensferry is surrounded by rolling arable farmland and the wooded
estates of Dalmeny, Hopetoun and Dundas, which are designated as
Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes by Historic Scotland and
SNH. There is an Area of Outstanding Landscape Quality around
Humbie Reservoir and an Area of Great Landscape Value along the
shore of the Firth of Forth between Blackness and South
Queensferry, which includes Hopetoun Estate. These are designations
awarded by the relevant local planning authority.
The sensitivity of the Firth of Forth and the estates around
South Queensferry is high, whilst the developed land in Fife is
considered less sensitive.
Aesthetics are a major consideration in the design of the main
crossing, which will be the most prominent element of the proposed
scheme and will be a new structure in both the local and wider
landscapes. The main crossing is designed to complement, rather
than detract from the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge. However,
it is recognised that opinions will vary on the effect of the new
structure upon the familiar setting of the existing bridges, so its
presence was assessed as neither beneficial nor adverse but as
neutral, with only the significance of change noted in the
Environmental Impact Assessment.
The assessment also looked at the potential impact of
introducing new roads, traffic and features such as road lighting
and gantries into the landscape. Impacts associated with the loss
of mature woodland and disruption to the landscape character were
Measures are proposed to ensure continuity of the landscape,
enhance the experience of the road user and promote a ‘sense
of place’ (the character and spirit of an area). These
measures include integrating the road alignment and earthworks with
the surrounding topography, forming new rock cuttings and providing
false cuttings to achieve a natural appearance.
Proposals include reinstating stone walls and providing noise
barriers, woodland, hedgerow and standard tree planting to reflect
the existing landscape character and provide screening.
On the north side of the Firth of Forth, the landing of the main
crossing and northern road connections will have significant
adverse impacts for the landscape of Ferry Hills and St.
Margaret’s Marsh, an area of reclaimed coastal flat west of
South of the Forth, the landscapes of South Queensferry and the
farmland to the west will be adversely affected by the main
crossing landing and southern connecting roads. The impacts of the
main crossing are considered to be adverse in this location because
of the presence of the bridge abutment and approach road
structures. The designed wooded landscape of the Dundas Estate will
also be adversely affected by significant impacts from the proposed
scheme. Elsewhere, impacts upon the surrounding landscape will not
open views across the Firth of Forth are dominated by the Forth
Road Bridge and Forth Bridge. The bridges are visible from a wide
area, including many of the small coastal settlements along the
Firth of Forth and distant viewpoints in Edinburgh, Dunfermline and
Kincardine and in clear conditions, the Ochil, Lomond, Pentland and
Views north of the Firth of Forth are generally enclosed by the
surrounding steep wooded hillsides of Castlandhill and Ferry Hills
and are influenced by the surrounding settlements, industry and
infrastructure. South of the Firth of Forth, views are limited by
the rolling topography of the open farmland around South
Queensferry and screened by the mature woodland of the Dundas
The assessment of visual impact considered changes in views from
buildings and outdoor public areas, which are called
‘receptors’. Visual impacts will typically occur where
a receptor is close to the proposed scheme or where open views are
possible towards the proposed scheme.
The main crossing will be the most visually prominent element of
the proposed scheme and will feature as an additional structure in
both local and distant views.
The main crossing has been designed to be an aesthetically
pleasing structure, sympathetic to the visual character of the
area. The simple, elegant design of the bridge is intended to
complement the existing views, including those where the main
crossing would be viewed directly in front of or beyond the Forth
Road Bridge and Forth Bridge. The measures described in the
landscape section above will also help to reduce the visual impacts
of the scheme.
The main crossing was assessed (as in the landscape assessment)
as having neutral rather than beneficial or adverse impact, because
it is acknowledged that opinions will differ as to whether it will
complement or detract from the visual character of the area. For
the majority of receptors, views towards the main crossing will not
be significantly changed. Significant (moderate or greater) neutral
impacts are predicted for 217 properties and 23 outdoor
Adverse visual impacts will be significant for properties
located in close proximity to the main crossing, including St.
Margaret’s Hope (also known as Admiralty House), St.
Margaret’s Hope Gatelodge, Ferry Craig House and
Tigh-na-grian north of the Firth of Forth and Inchgarvie House,
Clufflat, Clufflat Brae and Linn Mill south of the Firth of
The transfer of traffic from the Forth Road Bridge to the main
crossing will result in beneficial impacts for properties in South
Queensferry, where existing views are dominated by the constant
heavy flow of traffic on the Forth Road Bridge.
Adverse visual impacts from the northern road connections will
be significant for properties at Whinnyhill Crescent, St.
Margaret’s Hope Gatelodge and footpaths in the vicinity of
Castlandhill, Ferrytoll and St. Margaret’s Marsh.
The southern road connections will have significant adverse
impacts on views from South Queensferry, properties at Linn Mill,
Inchgarvie House, Springfield Lea, Springfield Place, Springfield
Terrace, Echline Drive, Dundas Home Farm, Humbie Farm and footpaths
around the Echline fields. Proposed landscape mitigation will help
Overall, views for the majority of receptors within 5km of the
proposed scheme will not be significantly changed by the proposed
Cultural heritage sites include archaeological remains,
historic buildings, gardens and designed landscapes. The sites
identified in the vicinity of the proposed scheme range in date
from the Mesolithic period (10,000 years ago) to the more recent
past. The sites have been assessed for direct impacts (potential
damage or severance) and indirect impacts (potential changes to
setting due to visual intrusion or impacts from vibration and
noise). Significant impacts which have been identified
- direct impact on Dundas Castle Designed Landscape, St.
Margaret’s Hope Category B Listed Archway and Beamer Rock
- indirect impacts on the setting of St. Margaret’s Hope,
Gatelodge, walled garden and piers (listed as Category B
individually and as a group), Port Edgar Barracks (Category B) and
Inchgarvie House (Category C(S)) Listed Buildings
- indirect impacts on the setting of Dundas Castle Designed
Landscape, St. Margaret’s Hope Relict Country Estate,
Inchgarvie House Lodge, and Ferry Craig House (South
Beamer Rock Beacon will be directly affected due to the proposed
location of the central tower of the main crossing on Beamer Rock.
The beacon is not listed but is of local interest and therefore it
is proposed to carefully dismantle, record and store it for
possible future relocation and re-erection.
Other mitigation measures that have been agreed include the
recording of individual sites through archaeological excavation,
historic building recording and archaeological evaluation through
the excavation of a series of speculative trenches amounting to up
to 10 per cent of the total area.
Other mitigation measures which will be implemented include
pre-construction protection measures for historic buildings, such
as sealing to prevent dust ingress, and construction vibration
during Scheme Operation
Local Air Quality
existing air quality throughout the area of the scheme meets the
prescribed air quality standards as set by the European Union and
UK Government. The assessment considered any likely changes in
local and regional air quality as a result of the operation of the
proposed scheme, due to projected changes in traffic movements on
the road network. The local air quality pollutants assessed
included nitrogen oxides, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate
matter. The assessment of regional level air quality included
consideration of carbon dioxide emissions. Nitrogen deposition at
nature conservation sites was also assessed.
The proposed scheme results in both increases and decreases in
air pollutant levels in its vicinity, although changes are
generally very small. No significant adverse impacts are predicted,
other than at the area around St. Margaret’s Hope. Areas to
the west of North Queensferry and South Queensferry which are close
to the proposed scheme will experience slight detrimental impacts,
whereas areas in the vicinity of North Queensferry and South
Queensferry which are close to the Forth Road Bridge will
experience slight beneficial impacts because of the decrease in
traffic on that bridge once the new crossing is open.
Regional Air Quality
assessment of regional air quality impacts predicted slight
increases in nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter with the
proposed scheme in place compared to the scheme not being in place.
The continual improvements in vehicle technology and fuel
efficiency underpinned by legislation are likely to reduce
emissions of nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter over
CO2 and Climate Change
main human influence on the global climate is emissions of
greenhouse gases such as CO2.
The assessment predicted an increase in carbon dioxide with the
proposed scheme in place due to more vehicle kilometres being
travelled. The scheme will increase the length of the majority of
cross-Forth journeys by about 1km because the new crossing is
slightly further west than the Forth Road Bridge.
The increase in CO2 emissions produced by the
proposed scheme in 2032 is 20,317 tonnes, which represents 0.16 per
cent of total transport sector emissions in Scotland in 2007 (12.4
million tonnes) (Scottish Government, 2009)1. These
figures are derived from strategic modelled traffic data covering
the national road network using established Department for
Transport methodology. Although small in an overall Scottish
context, this increase does not contribute to the requirement in
the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to reduce emissions by 42
per cent by 2020 (interim target) and 80 per cent by 2050.
Therefore, the increase in CO2 as a result of the
proposed scheme will require to be offset by greater reductions
elsewhere within Scotland.
Further assessment was carried out to more fully capture the
localised effect of "stop-start" motoring conditions on the
congested approaches to the Forth Road Bridge and the localised
benefits to be derived from relieving these conditions. The
assessment involved modelling a local network in the vicinity of
the Forth Replacement Crossing using an alternative approach that
better takes into account the emissions from such "stop-start"
traffic conditions. Initial findings indicate that during the
congested morning peak period, increased CO2 emissions
from the additional distance travelled may be mitigated by reduced
congestion that the proposed scheme will deliver relative to the
situation without the scheme. There is less congestion relief in
the evening peak and therefore the mitigating effect referred to
above is less evident during this period.
The proposed scheme is also likely to avoid the need for main
cable replacement and other maintenance works that are envisaged to
be necessary to retain the Forth Road Bridge in use in the absence
of a replacement crossing (see "Effect of Works on the Forth Road
Bridge" page 21).
Existing noise and vibration levels vary throughout the
study area from the quiet rural locations to existing busy roads.
The assessment has been undertaken in accordance with current best
practice, and looked at potential changes in noise and vibration
levels at sensitive receptors due to projected changes in traffic
movements on the road network. All noise-sensitive receptors within
600m of the scheme have been considered including residential
properties, schools and parks.
Measures have been built into the scheme to reduce noise
impacts, including careful design of the alignment and cuttings and
the use of low-noise road surfacing. Noise barriers will be
installed as required to reduce or remove significant noise effects
at various locations along the new southern connecting road between
the main crossing and the tie-in with the A90. A noise barrier is
also proposed to the southwest of Kirkliston.
Significant beneficial noise effects are predicted at the
- the southern edge of the Echline estate, South Queensferry,
facing directly onto the A904
- east and west of the approach road to the Forth Road
- Significant adverse effects are predicted at the following
- Clufflat Brae and Springfield Lea in South Queensferry
- Linn Mill and Inchgarvie House
- the western side of the Echline estate, South Queensferry.
No potentially significant vibration effects from operation of
the scheme were identified.
Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and Community Effects
are a number of paths and cycle routes within the study area
including core paths, rights of way, cycleways (including National
Cycle Routes 1 and 76), equestrian routes and local
The scheme has been carefully designed to incorporate new
sections of footpaths, cycleways and safe crossing points to
maintain these routes and minimise any potential increase in
journey length for users.
The Forth Road Bridge will maintain the link between Fife and
the Lothians for pedestrians and cyclists. The significant
reduction in traffic on the bridge will improve the amenity of the
route for users who will also gain a good view of the main
The significant decrease in traffic flow on the approaches to
the Forth Road Bridge will also improve the amenity for pedestrians
and cyclists using the surrounding area including paths and public
parks such as Inchcolm Park in South Queensferry.
Significant adverse impacts are predicted for the existing paths
at Ferrytoll and Echline due to the introduction of substantial new
infrastructure to these areas. This will require changes to current
routes and will alter the amenity of the area. Measures are
included to reduce impacts on amenity value and access to the
outdoors and limit the increase in journey length. These include
providing alternative routes, safe crossings at junctions and
No communities will be directly severed by the proposed scheme
and access to all community facilities will be maintained. The
significant decrease in traffic flow on the A904 to the south of
South Queensferry is predicted to relieve some existing severance
between the housing development on the north side of the A904 and
bus stops on the south side.
assessment of impacts on vehicle travellers looked at the potential
changes to views from the road and driver stress levels resulting
from the proposed scheme.
North of the Firth of Forth, views for vehicle travellers will
remain similar to those currently experienced from the existing
A90, with steep rock cuttings, which will channel views towards the
approach to the main crossing.
Views for travellers on the main crossing will also be similar
to those from the Forth Road Bridge, with scenic, panoramic views
across the Firth of Forth.
To the south of the Forth Road Bridge, the existing suburban
views from the existing A90 will be replaced by a range of more
open, attractive views from the new southern connecting roads,
across rolling farmland and into the designed wooded landscape of
Dundas. Overall, the proposed scheme will improve views for drivers
and provide a stimulating and scenic journey.
Over time, traffic levels are forecast to increase on the road
network and these increasing traffic levels impact on the level of
driver stress. The assessment
method uses a simple tabulated classification based on forecast
traffic, speeds and carriageway provision. Driver stress is likely
to remain the same as current conditions or increase during peak
hours with or without the scheme, when expressed against a simple
three-point scale. However, the
following features of the design are examples of how the scheme may
help to reduce the impact of some aspects of driver
- improved signage to reduce confusion and uncertainty and
improve navigation confidence
- additional hard shoulders and verges to improve road safety
- improved operational reliability and resilience in respect of
maintenance requirements to reduce driver frustration during
periods of maintenance
- reduction in the frequency and impact of incidents on traffic
flow to reduce driver frustration arising from delays due to
due to Construction
construction works are scheduled to start in 2011 and are predicted
to take more than five years in total, although some elements will
be completed more quickly. The selected contractor will determine
the precise programme for the works.
Land not already in the ownership of Scottish Ministers may be
acquired through the Parliamentary Bill process for three temporary
construction compounds located to the west of South Queensferry, to
the west of the M9 Spur at M9 Junction 1a and at Ferrytoll
Junction. These locations are indicative. If the contractor wishes
to create site compounds outwith these areas, the necessary
permissions to do this will be required.
Construction activities can potentially impact upon local
communities and businesses, pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians
and the natural environment. The operation of equipment and/or the
movement of heavy construction traffic can create nuisance
including noise, vibration, dust and loss of amenity.
The main impacts during construction relate to temporary traffic
disruption, noise, dust, landscape and visual impacts, particularly
for receptors close to the main crossing and the construction
compounds situated at Ferrytoll, South Queensferry and M9 Junction
To ensure that construction impacts on people and the
environment will be suitably reduced or avoided, a Code of
Construction Practice has been produced, which sets out the minimum
measures to control construction impacts. All contractors will be
required to adhere to this code.
Examples of measures to avoid and reduce impacts include:
- programming of works to minimise the disruption period
- appropriate design or screening to reduce noise and visual
impacts around the construction compounds
- following construction best practice to control dust generation
- development of management plans for air pollution, noise and
- fencing off construction compounds to avoid health and safety
hazards for the general public
- avoiding road closures wherever possible and providing
The main residual impacts from construction relate to temporary
air quality, noise and vibration, landscape and visual impacts for
properties close to the proposed scheme. Due to the extensive
construction works which will be required, the landscape and visual
impacts, although temporary in nature, cannot be completely
mitigated. Adverse noise impacts have been identified at a number
of receptors including at St Margaret’s Hope, St.
Margaret’s Hope Gatelodge, Tigh-na-grian and Inchgarvie
House, with vibration disturbance also anticipated at two of these
- St. Margaret’s Hope Gatelodge and Inchgarvie House. The
residual effects of construction-related vehicle emissions on air
quality are not significant. Dust impacts, considered to be of
medium to low risk, will be controlled by implementing the measures
set out in the Code of Construction Practice. However, due to the
close proximity to the construction works for the main crossing, it
is anticipated that the risk of dust nuisance may be higher at
Inchgarvie House during certain activities.
principle of development of the proposed scheme is established
within National Planning Framework 2 (NPF2) which identifies the
scheme as a national priority of economic importance.
The scheme is not compliant with some national, regional and
local policies in certain specific locations. Some of the road
connections to the south of the Firth of Forth are located in green
belt and this is contrary to national policy (see Scottish Planning
Policy SPP212) and policies included in the Edinburgh
and the Lothians Structure Plan and the Rural West Edinburgh Local
Plan. In addition, the proposed scheme affects some sites of
cultural heritage importance both north and south of the Firth of
Forth, which is also contrary to regional and local policies. These
include St. Margaret’s Hope, Gatelodge and Arch, Port Edgar
Barracks, Inchgarvie House, Ferry Craig House and Dundas Castle
Overall, however, the proposed scheme is considered to be
largely compliant with national, regional and local planning and
cumulative impact assessment provides an overview of the combined
impacts of the proposed scheme and also includes impacts from other
Two areas are identified as potentially experiencing cumulative
impacts as a result of the combination of different types of
impacts arising from the proposed scheme (but not from other
developments). These are at the north bridgehead and the south
In the north bridgehead area, cumulative impacts may occur at
the following receptors: St. Margaret’s Hope Gatelodge, St.
Margaret’s Hope, the Queensferry Hotel, Ferry Craig House and
Tigh-na-grian. Cumulative impacts may occur within the south
bridgehead area for Inchgarvie House, Inchgarvie Lodge, residents
at Clufflat Brae, pedestrians using informal footpaths and others
in close proximity to the proposed location of the South
Queensferry main construction compound and Port Edgar Barracks.
These receptors may experience cumulative impacts produced by a
combination of noise, ecological, land use, visual, and cultural
Two national developments, at Rosyth and Grangemouth, are
proposed to proceed at some time in the future. If they do, they
may potentially produce cumulative impacts with the FRC since
people and the general environment could potentially be more
disturbed than by a single project. These impacts are not assessed
in the Environmental Statement since detailed proposals for these
developments are not available. When more information becomes
available, the developers of these projects will be required to
undertake assessments of the potential combined effects of the new
developments and the FRC. Each project will have conditions which
will have to be adhered to during construction and operation. These
measures will control the significance of effects from each single
project and therefore reduce the potential for significant
Works on the Forth Road Bridge
environmental impacts associated with the scheme are derived from
an assessment against a baseline which assumes continued operation
of the existing road network and the Forth Road Bridge. Although
this provides an understandable baseline as it is similar to the
current situation, it may not be the most likely scenario, given
the uncertain state of the existing Forth Road Bridge.
The uncertainties surrounding the various alternatives for
refurbishing the existing bridge and the required closures are so
great that any attempt to use these as the baseline against which
to measure impacts could result in significant over or
under-estimation of impacts. It would also be difficult to present
findings in a clear and meaningful way.
To address this, the Environmental Statement includes a
qualitative assessment of the likely impacts of partial closure of
the Forth Road Bridge in the absence of a replacement crossing.
This assessment should be considered together with the assessment
of scheme impacts which assumes a baseline of continued Forth Road
Bridge operation, as described above.
The assessment of impacts arising from the major repair works
required for the Forth Road Bridge demonstrates significant
disruption if these works were carried out in the absence of an
alternative crossing. Significant delay is predicted for vehicles
using the Forth Road Bridge, which would result in reduced traffic
demand and some vehicle travellers using alternative routes via
It is predicted that traffic congestion created by the works
would affect access within and around communities including
Inverkeithing, North Queensferry, Rosyth, Dalmeny and South
Queensferry, where junctions are likely to be blocked and
re-routing will occur as residents attempt to use alternative
routes. This loss of mobility within these communities would lead
to a number of community effects including:
- limiting vehicular movements within the community
- reducing accessibility to key community facilities such as
doctor surgeries, hospitals, educational facilities for commuting
staff and users
- reducing access to retail and commercial facilities,
potentially affecting customers, staff and suppliers.
Reduced traffic demand and significant levels of congestion
resulting from the recabling works would adversely affect local
businesses that rely on passing trade or on customers travelling by
If these major repair works were included in the baseline used
to assess the environmental impact of the FRC, the FRC impacts for
air quality, noise and community effects would significantly differ
from those reported in the main body of the Environmental
Statement. In particular, as impacts on the economy, people and
communities in the vicinity of the Forth Road Bridge would be more
severe with these works taking place, it follows that the
beneficial impacts of the proposed scheme relative to this baseline
would be greater than those reported in the main Environmental
Statement and summarised in this NTS.
Regarding climate change issues, avoiding the need for cable
replacement and the lengthy period of congested conditions
associated with that work, would mean that total CO2 emissions during the congested peak periods for the proposed scheme
are likely to be less than the predicted future baseline without
the scheme in place and including main cable replacement over the
period 2012 to 2025.