Bridge cameras to target speeders


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Published Date: 20 January 2009
By Alastair Dalton
DRIVERS using the new Forth road bridge will be among the most watched in Scotland, with cameras enforcing variable speed limits on the crossing and its approach roads.

Speed limits on the bridge and for several miles either side could be cut to as low as 40mph during peak periods to help improve traffic flow. This would be accompanied by traffic lights on slip roads to ease congestion.

The camera network wADVERTISEMENT

ill extend from Halbeath on the M90 to the north to the M9 spur to the south.

Cutting speed limits when traffic is heavy, already used on many English motorways, is believed to give drivers more time to manoeuvre, such as where vehicles are joining from slip roads.

The plans are contained in touring exhibitions about the crossing being launched today. The bridge is expected to cost up to 2.3 billion and open in 2016.

The displays show the twin-span bridge will feature a unique design, with the cables between its towers and the deck partially overlapping to provide extra stability. The cables will run along the centre of the deck, with traffic passing on either side. The crossing will also have the world's longest central spans some 650 yards on a multi-span cable-stayed bridge.

Initial plans for two-legged towers have been shelved in favour of "mono towers", which will enable the deck to be built more quickly. The slimmer look for the bridge comes after ministers abandoned plans for an extra two lanes for buses or trams. These will use the existing bridge instead.

The towers will be 660ft above sea level and 170ft higher than those on the existing bridge.

The design has been produced by Arup, which was responsible for the "bird's nest" stadium and water cube aquatics centre at last year's Olympics in Beijing.

The exhibitions will also show road links between the bridge and the motorway network south of the river have been slimmed down, as The Scotsman revealed this month.

Original plans for a direct road between the south end of the bridge and the M9 have been scrapped to save money and reduce environmental impact. Drivers travelling between the bridge and the west of Edinburgh will have to take a longer route by using the existing A90 and M9 spur.

The spur junction will be upgraded so drivers can access the bridge to and from the west. It currently gives access only to and from the east.

The bridge will join the A90 north of the Forth at an enlarged Ferrytoll junction, with the A90 widened to three lanes in each direction for a mile north to the Admiralty junction in Rosyth.

Restricting the Forth Road Bridge to buses and taxis only will enable a section of the A90 south of the former toll plaza to become a park-and-ride site.

Details of a parliamentary bill to approve the scheme will be published this summer and introduced at Holyrood in the winter, when the construction tender process is due to start.

The contract is scheduled to be awarded in spring 2011.

The exhibition opens today at the Orocco Pier Hotel in the High Street, South Queensferry, and the Rosyth Civil Service Club in Castle Road.

It will then tour Edinburgh, Kirkliston, Linlithgow, Livingston, Winchburgh, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, North Queensferry and Kirkcaldy until the end of the month.