Forth Road Bridge inquiry launched

 

A Scottish Parliament inquiry will probe whether the highly disruptive closure of the Forth Road Bridge could have been avoided.

The infrastructure and capital investment committee decided this week to hold the inquiry during January and February, with a view to publishing the findings in March.

Among those who will be asked to give evidence will be transport minister Derek Mackay and representatives from Transport Scotland, engineering contractor Amey and the former Forth Estuary Transport Authority.

The bridge was closed early this month after defects were discovered in steel components. The bridge is due to reopen on 4 January unless bad weather affects progress on repairs.

One of the seven specific areas the committee will investigate covers the ‘proposed or actual structural maintenance and repair programmes between 2005-2015’, so that the committee can determine ‘whether the structural defect in [the] north east tower truss end link could have been avoided’.

The inquiry will also consider the capital budgets and revenue funding for structural monitoring, maintenance and repair during the same 10-year period.

Committee convener Jim Eadie MSP said: ‘Legitimate questions have been raised about why the bridge had to be closed and whether the structural problems identified could have been avoided or dealt with differently.’

 
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