Forth Bridge Experience
Forth Bridge Experience
For the first time in the bridge’s history, the public will be able to access the world-famous structure and explore its heritage as well as the outstanding views from 367 ft (110m) above sea level.
We understand that you will have many questions about the revised proposals for a new bridge walkway and visitor hub and have tried to answer them below.
If the answer to your query is not below, please use our contact form to share your question with the project team and they will come back to you.
Why is there a new planning application being submitted for the Forth Bridge Experience?
In 2020 Network Rail began a tender process to appoint a main contractor to design and build the new Forth Bridge Walkway Experience as part of the approved 2019 planning application. On conclusion of that process, and following extensive discussions with Transport Scotland, it was decided that the scheme would be put on hold for further development work as it was going to cost more than anticipated.
What is the key difference between the old proposals and the new proposals?
In the original April 2020 proposals, the Reception Hub Building was located to the west of the Forth Bridge, 24 metres from the nearest residential property at Ashburnham Loan. In the new proposals, the building will be located to the east of the Forth Bridge, providing a much greater degree of separation from the existing residential properties.
The Hub Building will continue to be located on part of the brownfield site that is owned by Network Rail.
What will the proposed reception hub look like?
The revised proposals include a single storey steel framed building with two pitched roofs and a double-sided glass entrance. This minimal and modern construction will be sympathetically positioned in the landscape offering stunning views of the iconic heritage structure while not detracting from them.
What are the timescales for the project?
It is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted before the end of this year. If the proposals are approved, construction work will commence in 2022, with the walkway experience potentially operational from 2023/24.
How much will the project cost?
We are in the early design stage for the current proposals; there will be further discussions with Transport Scotland, the project funder, on affordability and final designs as the proposals progress.
What is the projected number of visitors to the visitor experience?
The projected number of visitors is 85,000 per annum based on an assumption of groups of 15 people every 15 minutes at peak times.
How will visitor parking to the visitor experience be managed?
A Transport Statement will be submitted as part of the forthcoming planning application and will clearly set out the justification for, and operation of, the visitor parking. It will demonstrate that visitors by car will be limited and controlled by a barrier system which will restrict access only to those that have pre-booked tickets. There will be no parking provision for buses or coaches.
There will be 57 car parking spaces, including 15 electric vehicle spaces and 4 disabled parking spaces, separate parking will be provided for staff. There will also be ample covered cycle parking spaces and links to the National Cycle Route and public transport journeys will be encouraged through improved links to the nearby railway station and bus stops.
What is the impact of this project on the local woodland?
The consented scheme required the removal of a number of mature trees, particularly in the western part of the site to make way for the Hub building and the associated disabled parking and turning circle. As a result of this re-design, we will be able to retain a much greater number of trees. We have also identified some trees that need to be removed because they are dangerous, diseased or dead.
A local landscape architect is revising plans which will integrate the new landscape into the existing woodland by delivering appropriate tree planting with a selective palette of native and more ornamental broadleaf trees to enhance and diversify the existing habitats.
What will be the impact of the proposed footpath from Dalmeny Station to the Reception Hub building and the resultant tree removal, for the properties in Ashburnham Loan.
The tree removal plans for the proposed footpath from Dalmeny station to the reception building are the same as the original proposal. The reception building will be built to the East of the bridge. Tree removal in the development site to the West of the bridge will be less than in the original design.
What other footpath works are included as part of the project?
A new footpath will connect Dalmeny station to the location of the new bridge walk reception hub. The existing footpath will be removed and replaced with planting to provide screening for nearby residential properties.
A new footpath will be created along the existing access road from the junction with Hawes Brae to the entrance of the bridge walk reception hub.
The existing footpath network around the site will be retained and open to the public.
The planning application provides provision for a new stepped access from the visitor experience to Hawes Brae under the Forth Bridge near the existing Jacob’s Ladder. Jacob’s Ladder is not owned by Network Rail. The application also includes proposals for the replacement of the existing footbridge over the cycle path to the west of the visitor experience. These are aspirational elements which are not currently included as part of the development, but funding sources are being explored.
What lighting is being proposed on the footpath from Dalmeny station to the reception hub?
There will be low level lighting on the footpath from Dalmeny Station to the reception building.
Will train services be affected by the project, either during construction or once the walkway experience is operational?
Train services will not be affected during the construction work or during the operation of the walkway experience.
Will there be night-time working during the construction phase?
Whilst a significant portion of work can be undertaken during the day, there will be a requirement for some night-time working when trains are not operating. Neighbours will be notified in advance.
What are the proposed opening times of the reception hub?
The opening hours will vary dependent on the time of year and weather conditions. The proposed longest opening times for the reception hub are between 08:00hrs and 22:00hrs.
Where can I find out more information?
A project information page is located on the Scotland’s Railway website: https://scotlandsrailway.com/projects/forth-bridge-experience.
Network Rail will also continue to engage with local stakeholders and residents.