Forth Road Bridge

Proposed Bridge Tolls

and  Road Works

4 Toll?

The current toll for crossing the bridge is 1 for crossing to the north and FREE for crossing to the south. 

The bridge operators, FETA have announced plans to increase tolls in an attempt to reduce the volume of traffic crossing the bridge.  They intend to vote, on 25 November 2005, on a proposal to increase the 1 northbound toll to 4  for drivers in single-occupancy vehicles for one hour either side of the peak hour.

Edinburgh Evening News:  12 December 2005,  pp.1,5

Studies Recommended

A recent two-year study has revealed that corrosion of the bridge's cables has reduced their strength.  A new report has been issued and is to be discussed by the Forth Estuary Transport Authority. 

The report recommends that 2.7m should be spent on two separate engineering studies, each looking at how the lifetime of the bridge might be extended beyond 2019. 

These studies would investigate:

1.  adding a dehumidification process.

2.  replacing the bridge's cables

Proposals for Tolls

FETA have announced further details of their proposed toll charges, aimed at reducing the volume of traffic using the bridge.   The charging structure currently being considered by FETA is:

Charge for northbound traffic, with a 50% discount (on all tolls?) for cars with more than one occupant:  midnight to 7.30am:  1

-  midnight to 7.30am:    1

-     7.00am to 8.30am:    2

-     8.30am to 2.00pm:    1

-     2.00pm to 3.00pm:    2

-     3.00pm to 4.00pm:    3

-     4.00pm to 6.00pm:    4

-     6.00pm to 6.30pm:    3

-     6.30pm to 7.00pm:    2

-     7.00am to midnight: 1

Edinburgh Evening News: November 18, 2005,  p. 6


New Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  February 2006

4 toll?  -  'No'.

Jack McConnell, First Minister in the Scottish Parliament was believed not to favour the proposal for a 4 toll during peak times, but he had planned to make no statement until he had studied a report on the state of the bridge, due to be released soon.

However, he was provoked to comment on hearing a statement  from Gordon Brown,  Chancellor, UK Parliament, Westminster.  In this statement, on 18 January, Gordon Brown congratulated the Executive of the Scottish Parliament on having abandoned the 4 toll, even though the Scottish Executive had not yet discussed the subject.

Jack McConnell  responded during First Minister's Question Time in the Scottish Parliament on 19 January 2006.  He effectively ruled out a 4 charge, though he said he was not opposed to smaller increases or varying charges.

The Scottish Parliament is now expected to ask FETA to submit revised toll proposals.  These would be considered by the Scottish Parliament before being put out to wider consultation.

Gordon Brown

The intervention in Scottish affairs by Gordon Brown  was not welcomed by some of the Scottish MPs who believed that it was not appropriate for him to comment on the matter at this stage,  and that his comments had been aimed at boosting Labour Party's chances in the forthcoming Dunfermline & West Fife By-Election. 

Gordon Brown will be well aware of the strength of feeling amongst Fife residents on the subject of Forth Bridge tolls.  He is MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeith.

The Scotsman: January 20, 2006,  pp. 1-3



New Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  February 2006

Maximum toll of 3

Members of FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority) have conceded that they will not be able to raise tolls to a maximum of 4 as proposed earlier.  However they are reported to have discussed revised proposals: a maximum charge of 3 and an average charge of 1.50.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 4, 2006:  p.5.

Tolls to continue at 1

The Scottish Cabinet is due to consider a report on tolls to be charged on all Scottish bridges in the week beginning February  27, 2006. 

It is expected that they will agree to the scrapping of tolls on the Erskine Bridge, west of Glasgow; but retain tolls on the Tay Bridge and Forth Bridge, agreeing that the Forth Bridge toll should remain at its present level (1 for northbound cars) until 2007, despite demands from FETA for higher charges.

This will allow time for further work to be carried out first on the need for a second Forth Road Bridge.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 23, 2006:  p.11

Tolls to continue at 1 until 2009

A report on the future tolls for all Scottish bridges is to be considered by the Scottish Cabinet this week.  The Transport Minister, Tavish Scott is expected to extend the period for the present 1 toll on the Forth Road Bridge by a further 3 years until March 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 27, 2006:  p.6


Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  January 2007

Road Works - 2007

The northbound carriageway is to be closed for re-surfacing, and the southbound carriageway restricted to a single lane in each direction.  The work is to be carried out during evenings and weekends during summer 2007.

Road Works - 2010 *

Worn out  joints on the carriageways will have to  be replaced by 2010.  To carry out this work, traffic on the bridge is to be restricted to one lane in each direction for up to 2 months.  These lane closures will apply throughout the period, not just at evenings and weekends, so major delays are expected.

Edinburgh Evening News:  January 18, 2007:  p.5


This work is now expected to be carried out earlier.  i.e. for one month in 2008 and one month in 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News:  February 16, 2007:  p.11.



Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  May 2007

Political Party Views on Tolls

During the May 2007 election campaign, the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties  said they would scrap tolls for multiple-occupancy* cars crossing the Forth Bridge, but all other vehicles would have to pay.

The SNP campaigned for scrapping all tolls.  The Edinburgh Evening News reported on May 23 that the SNP leader, now First Minister in the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond, was now expected to announce to the Scottish Parliament that scrapping the tolls would be one of his government's priorities.

However, Edinburgh council leader, Jenny Dawe, warned that scrapping tolls would mean a loss of income of 15m pa.

Edinburgh Evening News:  May 23, 2007:  p.2

It's only a few weeks ago that the newly constructed booths for collecting tolls on the Forth Road Bridge came into use!

 -  Peter Stubbs:  May 27, 2007


Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  June 2007

SNP Confirm:  'Tolls to be Abolished'

The May elections left the Scottish National Party (SNP) as the largest party in the Parliament, but not holding overall majority.

The SNP confirmed, earlier this month that they propose to abolish tolls on the Forth Bridge from 2008.  They envisage that the removal of tolls will not result in a major problem of additional congestion.

Others predict a 20% to 30% increase in leisure trips during peak hours, which would result in extension of rush-hour periods.

Edinburgh Evening News: June 5, 2007:  p.12


Forth Road Bridge

Updates  -  July 2007

Forth Bridge Tolls  -  To be Scrapped?

In May 2007, the Scottish Parliament approved a decision to abolish tolls on the Forth Road Bridge.  Tolls are expected to be abolished by the end of 2007.

The new toll booths on the northbound carriageway of the bridge were erected a year ago at a cost of 5m.  (Only northbound traffic pays tolls.)  These toll booths are now to be demolished at a cost of up to 2m.

Edinburgh's Labour Transport spokesman has suggested that perhaps the toll booths should be left in place in case a future administration re-introduces tolls!

Edinburgh Evening News: July 28, 2007:  p.4


Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson signed an order in the Scottish Parliament, yesterday, scrapping tolls on the Forth Road Bridge (and also on the Tay Bridge) with effect from 1 minute past midnight on February 11, 2009.

Metro:  January 31, 2008:  p.11.



A New Forth Road Bridge?

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