Network Rail are progressing in their Forth Bridge Experience project, which will see visitors being taken onto the bridge for the first time where they will participate in a ‘bridge climb.’
The plans for this project have taken a step forward as of the 29th June, when planning permission has been officially approved by the City of Edinburgh Council. Accompanying this news is the approval permission to construct a single-storey reception hub and car park in the development site at South Queensferry.
It is estimated that the new guided walks will attract around 80,000 visitors per year to experience the 127-year-old iconic structure first hand. In an industry still recovering from the previous pandemic restrictions, schemes such as this represent innovative new methods in which the rail sector can attract the public’s goodwill and attention to its services.
A value within the project is to maintain the natural environments around the structure and minimise the impact on surrounding habitats. The designs for the reception hub will seek to echo this sentiment and provide an ecologically friendly construction process, which will culminate in impressive modern infrastructure that offers visitors stunning views of the Forth Bridge. The hub will also be used for preparing visitors to attend the bridge walk, whilst providing an access point for the structure.
Groups of between 12 and 15 people will put on safety harnesses before being led out onto the bridge’s south cantilever, walking up to a viewing point at the top using walkways built into the structure.
Alan Ross, Network Rail Scotland’s director of engineering and asset management, said:
“It’s great to see our plans for the Forth Bridge Experience moving forward.
“The team has worked hard to create this exciting design and we’re looking forward to working with the successful contractor to bring these plans to life.”
Whilst the planning permission has been approved, Network Rail must now seek out the appointment of a main contractor to conduct the construction of the reception hub and car park. Contractors are currently being invited to tender for the project.
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