Following the completion of the Forth Replacement Crossing Study as part of the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth announced to Parliament on 19 December 2007 that the Forth Replacement Crossing would be a new cable-stayed bridge located immediately upstream of the Forth Road Bridge.
The decision to progress with the development of the project was based on the findings of the Forth Replacement Crossing Study, Reports 1 to 5 (Jacobs et al., 2007) and addressed ongoing concerns over the continued availability of the Forth Road Bridge as an unrestricted crossing for general road traffic. The policy objective is to provide, in the light of uncertainties about the future availability of the Forth Road Bridge, a continuing and reliable primary road link between Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Fife and beyond in order to safeguard the economy, particularly of the east coast of Scotland.
Following the above announcement, the Jacobs Arup Joint Venture was appointed in January 2008 to work as a development partner with Transport Scotland to take the project forward. With the need, form and location for a replacement crossing having been identified, Jacobs Arup were engaged to carry out the detailed development of all aspects of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project, including the Main Crossing and its connecting roads infrastructure. This included the associated environmental studies and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the production of an Environmental Statement (ES), a Sustainability Appraisal and Carbon Management Report and this Health Impact Assessment (HIA).
This HIA report presents a high-level appraisal of the possible health effects of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 3 engineering design.
1.2 Purpose of Health Impact Assessment
The purpose of an HIA is to assess any potential health consequences of the proposals, to use this information to make recommendations to reduce the risk of adverse health effects and, where possible, to improve the health outcomes resulting from the proposal. HIA is a multi-disciplinary activity that cuts across the traditional boundaries of health, public health, social sciences and environmental sciences.
There is no statutory basis for HIA, although its use is advocated in Government policy and guidance documents. Non-statutory guidance on HIA has been produced by numerous organisations including Health Scotland, as described in Section 3.3 of this report.
The most commonly used definition of HIA is given in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Gothenburg Consensus Paper (1999) which describes it as:
‘a combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, programme or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population’.
This HIA draws from the findings of a number of other studies on the FRC proposals other studies including in particular the ES and the DMRB Stage 3 Scheme Assessment Report. It collates and assesses facts relating to potential health impacts from these various reports, considers them in the context of relevant baseline health information and consolidates this information in a concise report. References are provided as appropriate.