The public is being deliberately deceived about the government’s plan to build a new road bridge over the Firth of Forth to make it an easier sell, according to internal documents obtained by the Sunday Herald.
The £2 billion bridge - by far the largest construction project proposed by ministers - is officially badged as a “Forth replacement crossing”. This is despite the fact that it will not replace, but supplement the existing road bridge at Queensferry as part of a “twin crossing strategy”.
The documents reveal that advisers recommended last year that the name be changed to reflect the real role of the new bridge. But this was rejected by the government’s Transport Scotland to protect “political sensitivities” and to avoid “confusion among the public”.
Outraged opponents of the bridge are this weekend demanding that the Scottish government comes clean, and cancels the scheme. In a letter to the finance minister, John Swinney, last night, the Green MSP, Patrick Harvie, accused Transport Scotland of failing to be honest with the public.
Harvie said: “The problems with the crossing are not simply public relations problems. It is now fatally flawed, and I would urge you to scrap it before more money and effort is wasted.”