Date lodged: 28 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what the expected (a) northbound and (b) southbound journey time on the (i) Forth Replacement Crossing and (ii) Forth Road Bridge will be in the 12 months after the new crossing opens, and how this compares with the current times on the road bridge.
Answered by: Keith Brown 14 March 2017
Current journey times vary considerably depending on the particular time, day and month considered and are reported in the annual Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) project traffic monitoring reports published on the FRC website. They are influenced by the congestion caused by the Forth Road Bridge (FRB) itself and by the current traffic management arrangements associated with the Queensferry Crossing construction.
Post opening journey times will be measured as part of the before and after monitoring of the project. These will be influenced by the traffic volume, the new road geometry, junction layouts and hardshoulders and the operation of the variable speed limit system throughout the new bridge and connecting road corridor.
It should be noted that the Queensferry Crossing will generally operate at the 70mph national speed limit as opposed to the current 40mph limit on the FRB. Additionally, the wind shielding installed on the Queensferry Crossing will also provide greater resilience and offer journey time reliability benefits
As detailed in paragraph 25 of the Policy Memorandum relating to the Forth Crossing Bill dated 16 November 2009 “The proposed scheme will improve the management of traffic, provide greater flexibility for routine maintenance works, permit incidents and accidents to be addressed without the consequential traffic disruption currently experienced and allow the traffic to travel more safely and smoothly. The scheme, however, will not provide a step change in the capacity of the route; increased travel demand for movement across the Forth will need to be met by improved public transport.