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Water under the Bridge

Posted on December 11, 2015 by

We’ve been struggling to get a good grip on what’s happening with the Forth Road Bridge this week. It’s a confusing tale full of contradictory financial and engineering detail, being flayed for all it’s worth by the Unionist media and opposition.


As usual, we’ll make this as simple as possible.

1. The decision not to replace the entire section of bridge containing the part which has since become defective was made in 2010 by the now-defunct Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA), a non-government organisation dominated by Labour and Lib Dem board members. (The SNP had just three out of 10.)

2. They elected to defer replacement after the Scottish Government reduced FETA’s capital funding in 2011. However, an Audit Scotland report in October 2012 noted that “FETA’s reserves will be utilised to meet planned capital funding shortfalls over the next three years”.

The decision not to use the reserves to replace the section was FETA’s, which didn’t consider the work a priority in the light of other concerns.

3. The replacement work would have entailed the closure of the bridge for a significant period, which is what’s happened now. In terms of the consequences for traffic over the Forth, nothing would have been gained by doing the work in 2010 – the disruption would simply have happened earlier and gone on for longer.

4. There’s also no guarantee that the defective part wouldn’t still have become damaged even had the section been replaced in 2010. The fracture has only occurred in the last few weeks and the cause is unknown – it may or may not relate to accumulated wear and tear. Replacing the section in 2010 might simply have seen the bridge having to be closed twice.

5. The removal of bridge tolls in 2008 (which was supported by all parties except the Greens) is a complete red herring, for the reasons outlined in points 3 and 4. No matter how much money was available the bridge would still have had to be closed to replace the now-damaged section. Users would have suffered all the same inconvenience, and been poorer as well.

(For a five-days-a-week commuter, the £1 toll would have cost them around £2,040 over the period, assuming it stayed at the same level throughout.)

6. Deferring the replacement offered a chance that the new bridge – due to open next year – would have been operational by the time the work on the old one had to be done, which would have avoided all the chaos of closure. However, the old bridge couldn’t hang on for the last few months and the gamble didn’t pay off.

And that’s about that. Sometimes in life things break and it’s inconvenient. But the fact is that all the money in the world wouldn’t have stopped the Forth Road Bridge from having to be closed at some point. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the only thing which offered any possibility of minimising disruption was to NOT do the work in 2010. FETA made the right choice, but sadly weren’t vindicated by fortune.


And after countless years of inaction and opposition from other parties it was the SNP who built the new Queensferry Crossing, which should secure the route for decades to come. It’s only a shame that previous Scottish Executives didn’t do it long ago.

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    164 to “Water under the Bridge”

    1. Lollysmum says:

      Thanks for the info. Lots of rubbish circulating on twitter mainly from SLab (as usual)

    2. heedtracker says:

      Its certainly been a great big stick to beat Sturgeon with, UKOK media and twitter wise. Nice examples of the beating from red tory unionistas such as

      Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 5h5 hours ago
      >@iain1963 You think building the new bridge excuses “inadequate maintenance” of the old one?

      and from blue tory unionist hard core

      Kevin Hague Retweeted
      The Kilted Kelpie ?@KiltedKelpie Dec 10 Japan
      “This bridge needs serious remedial work including new truss links”
      “Will this further the cause of independence?”
      “Just leave it then”

      Its all about independence, if youre a Britnat.

    3. Keith Hynd says:

      Shit happens! The main concern of MSM and BT brigade in this is to ensure none of that shit comes down on them.

      The solution? SNPBad,,, as per usual.

    4. Grouse Beater says:

      Labour knows no limit to the vindictiveness it is prepared to compose to blacken an elected administration and regain power for Westminster.

      If you’re a mammal that lives down burrows you’ll always try to dig a new one even if there are better and more pleasant places to inhabit.

    5. Dr Jim says:

      So these defenders and champions of the public and bastions of truth are wrong
      How can it be that such a mistake as this has been made on the reporting of the story of this important arterial link to our beloved Scotland

      An inquiry into the source of this mis reporting must surely be undertaken at once and questions answered

      I’m astonished

    6. orri says:

      The other touted figure is that of how much traffic the bridge was designed to take. Which seems to be an accusation that the authorities have been allowing it to be overloaded. Completely ignoring the fact that significant strengthening works were undertaken since it’s original completion.

      Does the increase in traffic volumes affect the bridge?
      No. The bridge has been substantially strengthened since 1964 to cope with current traffic loading including the new 44 tonne commercial vehicles. Once the bridge is full of vehicles, the maximum load is reached. The loading is not affected by other vehicles in a queue waiting to get on the bridge.

    7. starlaw says:

      Repairs to the bridge have been held back, as doing them would mean closing the bridge for months. It was hoped the new bridge would be open in time for these works to start.
      Closure now has been the discovery of a different fault, one which must be repaired now. Unlike Wullie Rennie I’m well aware that undiscovered faults will not be repaired until they are discovered.

    8. caledonia says:

      We are far to bloody soft when it comes to these things

      next time the SNP do something wrong (and i dont mean they did anything wrong this time)they should jump on the internet and blame labour and let it spread all over the internet.
      because correcting things after they have been said many times only makes a few people see the truth most have already believed the lie and moved on.

      BTW i am very happy today as i have volenteered to get my works 2 papers (record and p&j) and changed the record to a sun

      and before anyone starts i could not have got away with changing to a national and as for the sun i know but its the better of the 2 evils just now and the men like it or the record for the racing/football

    9. Chitterinlicht says:

      Point 1 and the political make up of FETA – interesting.

    10. Fred says:

      The last thing the “Red Branch” want is good news about anything in Scotland, whether it’s the NHS, the Polis or this bridge. Jackie Baillie hasn’t cracked the enamel since she had the hives!

    11. Dan Huil says:

      But the bbc implies it’s the Scottish government’s fault! The bbc wouldn’t play politics with this… would they?!

    12. Croompenstein says:

      The First Minister nailed this pish yesterday at FMQ’s. Had a nice wee dig at James ‘Invisble’ Kelly and Baron FurFoulkesSake in to the bargain….

    13. broonpot says:

      Thank you for clearly summarising the position excluding the lies, innuendo, sad political posturing and sniping.

      You have confirmed what I was gradually getting to grips with no thanks to the media.

      No doubt there will be various political twists and turns in the “news” over the coming weeks and months.

    14. macnakamura says:

      Stop Talking Sense !

      This was unpredictable and Nicola should have seen it coming.
      If she had not been concentrating on constitutional matters then she could have been clambering over girders above the Forth.

      Those high heels of hers would have been ruined but that would have been a price worth paying, surely.

      The money that she has saved by not doing so should be used to mitigate Tax Credit cuts.

      Photoshopped Jim Murphy in Superman costume arms outstretched above his head holding the bridge together.

      The Telegraph publishes a memo that proves beyond doubt that Nicola told the French Ambassador that she would be happy to close the bridge just to inconvenience Gordon Brown.

      Carmichael has denied that he leaked the memo to The Telegraph.

    15. Phil Robertson says:

      “It’s a confusing tale full of contradictory financial and engineering detail, ”

      Indeed it is and you seem to have overlooked the main source of that confusion, namely Derek Mackay.

      On Dec. 8th, he states to the Holyrood that that the current problem is unrelated to the work plan cancelled in 2010. One day later, he tells Good Morning Scotland that the selfsame work plan would have seen the replacement of the “area” where the fault occurred.

      Sounds like “unrelated” doesn’t mean what it did when the SNP assumed office!

    16. BigMac says:

      All these accusations by the Westminster supporters make me detest them even more. Am I the only one who feels like this?

    17. Legerwood says:

      When the bridge was closed last week it was quite noticeable that the opposition were lost for words because the Scottish Government’s decision to build a new bridge was vindicated – big time. It was More nday before the opposition parties started to carp in their usual fashion. Clearly they had been beavering away over the weekend to find some sort of SNP bad ammunition and what they did find was pretty thin jail.

      As to the possible closure in 2010 that they keep going on about, it would have been a long one and it is worth remembering that in 2010 petrol and diesel were a helluva lot more expensive than they are now. Therefore the cost to business and the ordinary traveller would have been a great deal more than now.

      Also worth pointing out that even if the bridge had not been forced to close last week it would have been closed several times over the past week because of the bad weather where high winds have been a feature.

      Tolls are indeed a red herring. Road users pay road tax and fuel duty and the Roads and bridges should be maintained from that revenue. But of course that is not what that revenue is used for.

    18. dakk says:

      Uncle Jock McConnell’s Scot Executive of the day returned billions of pounds of the annual Block Grant to Westminster unused.

      Doesn’t the Daily Record think McConnell’s administration should have had the vision and sense to foresee the need for and build a new bridge with this rejected money ?

      No.Both they and Slab would rather that money was spent on London infrastructure, as it indeed was.

      McConnell was not that daft though.

      Those billions in Scotland’s money bought him and other Slabbers nice lifelong peerages.Cheap at the price.

      It was a no brainer I suppose for people with those values.

    19. Marcia says:

      It is nice to see Phil back, the chap with a problem for every solution. 🙂

    20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Indeed it is and you seem to have overlooked the main source of that confusion, namely Derek Mackay.

      On Dec. 8th, he states to the Holyrood that that the current problem is unrelated to the work plan cancelled in 2010. One day later, he tells Good Morning Scotland that the selfsame work plan would have seen the replacement of the “area” where the fault occurred.”

      So what? See point 4.

    21. Lesley-Anne says:

      Well what do you know.

      A Bridge … built of STEEL … has been found to have a problem. Well I never. Here’s me thinking that a bridge built of STEEL would NEVER have any problems EVER! What a silly Billy I am! 😀

      Who’d have thunk it?

      A bridge, carrying more traffic now than it was ever envisaged to carry has been found to have a defect in some of its structures. It must be the SNP’s fault … letting MORE traffic cross the bridge than it was envisaged to carry back in … erm … 1963/1964! DOH! 😀

    22. Dan Huil says:

      @BigMac 3:47pm


    23. Free Scotland says:

      @BigMac 3:47pm


    24. Andrew McLean says:

      I have never read such utter tosh by so called adults on the subject of this bridge, any reason to insult the First Minister is taken, No wonder the unionist parties are in such disarray, Conservatives worst results in 150 years, Labour one MP and can’t get supporters to stand as councillors,
      I hope there is an enquiry, I have worked in Construction Engineering for nearly 20 years, unlike the one day bridge engineers, I actually have followed events, I have read reports and watched work like this
      Let them keep shouting SNP bad like some assemble of drunken louts, the more they do the more actual professionals like engineers, teachers NHS staff Policemen see them for what they are, deranged and bonkers no answers just criticisms,not what should have been done, usually because they were the root cause of so much of the problems in the first place, but SNP BAD.

      Honestly I don’t understand what’s happened to Labour, complete car crash of a party, Liberal Liars Party just can’t get the staff anymore? shame.

      As for the Tories at least the admission they need younger blood as the older set are raving bonkers makes sense. Just hope they can look after them better!

    25. manandboy says:

      On and on it goes- endless negativity from the Unionist Establishment print and broadcast media. Not a good word to say about Scotland, while among Establishment members, every crime known to man is committed on a grand scale without penalty or publicity.

      Scotland has been enduring a constant stream of hostility, criticism, false accusations, defamation, character assassination, and general abuse of the worst kind. How much longer are we going to endure life under the unremitting outflow of English sewage and bile. The answer is for as long as it takes.

      In the meantime, stay positive always, cancel your TV licence, never buy newspapers except The National & Sunday Herald. Above all, vote SNP / SNP, and by steadfast commitment to the right to self-determination and then to Independence, we will vote Scotland into a new life.

      Sick of English abuse? Right, let’s get on with it.

    26. Paula Rose says:

      Overheard in shop yesterday –

      “They should have built it out of stone in the first place, everyone knows steel doesn’t last like stone”

      Unbelievable – but that is what people think!

    27. Robert Peffers says:

      Don’t K;now if it’s: –

      “No Bridge I Wouldn’t Cross”–David Cassidy;
      “Bridge Over Troubled Water”–Simon & Garfunkel;
      “Love Can Build a Bridge”–The Judds
      not,”London Bridge”–Fergie
      “Under the Bridge”–Red Hot Chili Peppers
      “Bridge of Sighs(size).”–Robin Trower
      “Cross the Bridge”–Brenton Wood
      “Seven Bridges Road”–The Eagles
      “Burning Bridges”–Jack Scott
      “Burning Bridges”–The Mike Curb Congregation (same name but a different song).
      “Bridge over the River Kyi”, (cry).

      And there must be many more well known titles to add to that list.

    28. Capella says:

      jimnarlene have an interesting comment in the Tarff Advertiser:

      It was common knowledge, that the cables on the bridge were deteriorating at an accelerated rate, due to an invasive inspection technique.

      Holes were drilled in the outer sheathings, of the main cables, to inspect the inner cable bundles. The bundles were fine but, by drilling through the protective sheathing. They inadvertently exposed the inner bundles to salty moist air, thus the cables rapidly began to rust and lose their integrity; hence the need for a new bridge.

    29. To be fair to the Labour party and their Scottish Unionist Media (aka SCUM) cheerleaders, they’ve come up with better arguments than I thought they would. However, when your expectations were, “Nae wonder it broke. Alicsammin drove across it an’ he’s a fat bastirt,” I suppose it’s not really saying much.

    30. Helena Brown says:

      BigMac 3.47om count me in as well, sick to death of them all.

    31. orri says:

      The reason I mentioned the strengthening works done on the bridge earlier was to call a halt to implications it has been overloaded. Not so someone could continue with that ludicrous line of attack on the SNP for allowing it to be overloaded.

      That it may not have been designed to carry it’s current load of traffic does not mean that it wasn’t subsequently improved to do so safely.

      The unionists love pushing that idea, why should we let them.

    32. Robert Kerr says:

      The bridge is over 50 years old. The main expansion joints should have been replaced 20 years ago. They have not yet been replaced. The decision by FETA was made to save 6 million pounds in the hope that the new bridge would be ready to take the traffic and allowing total closure of the original bridge to facilitate the works.

      The following paper by W. S Atkins engineers is informative.

      The meeting was chaired by councillor Hinds of Edinburgh.

      The minutes are available on Edinburgh City Council website. The FETA website is closed in spite of what was said at FMQ yesterday.

      There may well be a causal connection between the additional stresses due to the faulty main expansion joints and the fractured steel. Perhaps money could be found to do a proper stress analysis and put the matter to rest. In the meanwhile it’s “Pass the Parcel”

    33. Capella says:

      Perhaps the fans of Stone Bridges would like to explain how the Forth Rail Bridge – made out of steel – is still standing after 125 years. It obviously lulled bridge builders into a false sense of security about steel structures.

    34. Chic McGregor says:

      I can’t even crack the painfully obvious pun of ‘A Bridge Too Far’ cos Slab crossed that some time ago. 🙁

      … oh, I did.

    35. George S Gordon says:

      That link from orri is extremely interesting, and should be read by all the Yoons, especially that engineering “genius” Dr Scott.

      Also, the information it gives on flexibility of the bridge is just amazing – it moves 7 metres in a 110mph wind!

    36. Iain says:

      It’s about time broadcasting was devolved to Scotland. If it is not devolved it will go the same way as all the bum outlets. The BBC is a significant employer in Scotland and at present it has no future if it continues it’s biased anti Scottish policy.

    37. caz-m says:

      BBC Radio Scotland have launched a new and exciting drama series. It’s called:

      “The Bridge”

      Full of lies and bullshit, this story of the power struggles within Scottish politics is aired endlessly, seven days a week by our state broadcaster.

      “The Bridge”

      Starring Wullie, Ruthie, Kezia and a very special input from the “bastards of BBC Scotland”.

      Not to be missed!

    38. Capella says:

      And what about the Chain Bridge in Budapest – made out of iron, the first permanent crossing over the Danube. Completed in 1849. Shouldn’t it have rusted and fallen down by now? Or collapsed under the weight of modern traffic?

    39. Bill Hume says:

      “Haud the Front Page”
      A cyclist had a puncture today, fell of his bike and skint his wee knee. The SNP government in Holyrood should have forseen this and changed his tyre for him.


    40. ScotFree1320 says:

      I daresay that the second Forth Road Bridge that was cancelled in 1994 – if it had been built – would have significantly extended the lifespan of the current one.

      On 22nd Septenber 1994 there were four short-listed consortia in the frame to win the contract to build a £280m second bridge, but ultimately the project ended up being indefinitely shelved.

      If only the long term view had been taken by the unionist parties who were then in power… Or maybe it was…

    41. Robert Peffers says:

      @Phil Robertson says: 11 December, 2015 at 3:47 pm:

      “On Dec. 8th, he states to the Holyrood that that the current problem is unrelated to the work plan cancelled in 2010. One day later, he tells Good Morning Scotland that the selfsame work plan would have seen the replacement of the “area” where the fault occurred”


      He is telling it as it is.. Phil, and if you were not so blinded by your well known, “SNP BAAAD”, complex you just may have realised what all other sensible people already knew.

      He is talking about a large and complex component of a very complicated mechanical structure. In this instance the present cause of the bridge being closed for urgent remedial work is a new and previously unknown different part of that component.

      The original fault you have confused yourself with still was an already known fault and still remains to be done.

      “Sounds like “unrelated” doesn’t mean what it did when the SNP assumed office!”

      And there is the clue to your obvious mistake. You actually are talking about a fault that was known about before the SNP took office. That being so, why did not Labour do something?

      If it had indeed been the known fault the blame would rest squarely upon FETA and Labour. This present fault has only just been discovered and how could an unknown fault be relevant?

      The Engineers have plainly stated the new fault would have happened whether or not the existing known fault had been corrected. In other words it resulted from a different set of mechanical stresses or perhaps an unknown flaw in the metalwork.

    42. Andrew McLean says:

      Capella, it was built in 1948? you find most smaller old bridges were over specified, that is why older bridges will be around when newer and bigger and taller and as such are at the limits of engineering for there day won’t

    43. Murray McCallum says:

      Hammersmith bridge in London has a history of closures and repairs. It doesn’t dominate the national news in England.

      The last time I crossed Hammersmith bridge it looked like they had reinforced the deck with marine ply riveted to the surface!

      Watching the Scottish news recently you would think Scotland only had one single infrastructure asset.

      The coverage has been totally OTT. It has contained so much allegation, red herrings and disinformation. If only it had cut to the detail as contained in this article.

    44. bjsalba says:

      I suppose the one thing we can be thankful for is that the new bridge was not constructed by Labour under PFI.

      We might have had a new bridge but on the Skye Bridge scale the Tolls would have been extortionate and our grandchildrens’ grandchildren would still have to pay them.

    45. Luigi says:

      It looks like the Forth Road Bridge has been supported by crossed fingers since 2010. FETA fingers, that is. Unfortunately, the fingers did not do their job properly. And so the blame game now begins.

    46. nodrog says:

      I take my hat off to Derrick MacKay he has stood firm against the worst the BBC, SLAB, Tank commander, Lib Dems and allcomers could throw at him. Stuck to the task and he will get the job done. Good on you son – Scottish hero in my opinion!

      The treatment he has had to put up with has been nothing short of disgraceful. These Unionist should hang their heads in shame it will do them no favours come May 2016 they will be wiped out and deservedly so.

    47. Nobby Power says:

      The issues at hand with the bridge, can be traced back to the late 80s, and through the strengthening works in the early 90s. There’s a lot of blame to pass around, and it should be spread way beyond #SNPBad kneejerk reactions.

    48. jcd says:

      “The coverage has been totally OTT. It has contained so much allegation, red herrings and disinformation. If only it had cut to the detail as contained in this article.”

      The idiot media isn’t there to report factually or educate, I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you of that.

      Instead of just talking about it, after xmas & new year people who want Scotland free are going to have to actually start doing things to counter the propaganda, i.e billboard campaigns, red white and blue book, WBB 2.0 and anything else that can be done and will change soft No minds.

    49. manandboy says:

      In an Independent Scotland, with all the resources we have, we could build half a dozen new Forth bridges without batting an eyelid – and still have change from what Crossrail in London is costing.

      Anyway, the bridge we all want to see built is across the troubled waters to Independence. It will be a single use structure, which, upon completion, can then be discarded.

      But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    50. Hi … in 1990 Forth Road Bridge engineers told the Secretary of State for Scotland the bridge would not last much past the year 2000 at the rate of traffic load increase on an already overloaded structure. Iain Lang, the then Secretary of State, undertook a study as to the best route and solution to deal with the problem which was a stayed bridge on the alignment of bridge now being built, tunneling was contra-indicated due to the complex and unstable geology in this part of the Forth Estuary. Menzies Campbell and Alistair Darling called Lang’s proposal for a second crossing ‘a waste of money’ and urged the plans for a second crossing be abandoned. They got their wish when Iain Forsyth took over as Scotland’s overlord in 1992.

      Labour and the Libdems need to be very careful about their calls for an enquiry.

    51. Nuada says:

      Hmm…investigating a story, gathering the facts and presenting them unvarnished to the public. Didn’t there used to be an entire profession that did that? What was it called again? Journosm..jourto something.. oh, yes, that was it: journalism.

    52. Phil Robertson says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      11 December, 2015 at 3:54 pm
      So what? See point 4.

      Not sure how that it relevant. The content of what DM said doesn’t really matter. The point is the confusion caused when he says one thing on Monday and contradicts himself on Tuesday.

      Mr Peffers
      “And there is the clue to your obvious mistake. You actually are talking about a fault that was known about before the SNP took office. That being so, why did not Labour do something?”

      Do you really think that Labour was in power in 2010?

    53. Ken Waldron says:

      Forth Bridge defective member previously deemed ‘not highly stressed’

      “Failure of a structural member in the Forth Road Bridge’s main steel southbound deck truss discovered on Tuesday came as a shock to the bridge maintenance team as it had previously been assessed as not highly stressed…”

      New Civil Engineer.

      There you go. Don’t See that getting reported in the “SNP Bhaaaddd…” media. Funny that.

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The point is the confusion caused when he says one thing on Monday and contradicts himself on Tuesday.”

      He didn’t actually contradict himself. It’s just easy to make it SOUND like he did. But again, so what? It’s not confusion that’s made the bridge break.

      “Do you really think that Labour was in power in 2010?”

      No, but I’m pretty sure they were in power in 2006, and had been for some time…

      … during which period they were sending back hundreds of millions of pounds a year to Westminster because they couldn’t think of anything to spend it on.

    55. Sinky says:

      The salient fact is that the Labour dominated FETA, independently of Transport Scotland or Scottish government, was responsible for Bridge repairs until June 2015.

      SNP supporters need be PROATIVE in reminding the MSM / BBC that Tony Blair’s Labour government cancelled the Tory Scottish Office proposals that a second road bridge was required in the early 1990s as due to increased traffic volumes. Labour opposed a second road bridge.

      Once Westminster passed the buck the Labour / Lib Dem Scottish executive failed to progress a second road bridge.

      My pal’s engineer son who is anti Alex Salmond and no way an SNP supporter tells me that there is NO WAY the crack could have be foreseen before it actually happened.

    56. Brian says:

      Thanks Stuart. Cool and measured. Always the best way to present the facts.

    57. nodrog says:

      My feeling is the Unionists have misunderstood the difference between Fear and Negativity. Project Fear worked on the people who were afraid of change. Constant negativity about the SNP is also working. But not the way the Unionists were hoping and expecting. Instead it is driving more voters to the SNP and long may it continue. Well at least until May 2016 after which Unionists will be as rare as rocking horse poo.

    58. caz-m says:


      A YES voter is a forward looking optimist.

      A NO voter is a backward looking pessimist.

    59. Stuart says:

      Loki as ever nails it!

      “Saw some SNP members happily swimming across the river to work this morning claiming the bridge closure’s not affected them.”

    60. Sinky says:

      Surprised one of our impartial media people failed to mention that in 1995 at Westminster Alistair Darling called the proposed second Forth road crossing “this ridiculous bridge” and at Holyrood Labour’s MSP transport spokesperson called the new Queensferry Crossing “a vanity project”.

      The plans for a second Forth Road Bridge met with stiff opposition from environmentalists and from the Labour dominated City of Edinburgh Council on the grounds of the increased traffic. Following the Labour victory in the 1997 general election the proposals were shelved by Tony Blair’s government.

    61. call me dave says:

      The bridge…summed up very well in the article, short term pain all very unfortunate, life goes on and all will be well.

      No-one is making this the topic of the week where I live, a shrug and a shake of the head, just get on with it.


      Corbyn wins beard of the year for the sixth time.

      I saw that poll about midnight and he was trailing 2nd by a long way about 33% from 1st sitting at 53%.

      Radio 5 was discussing it about that time and the representative for the poll hinted that he might not win it.

      Seems the postal votes were counted in the early hours. 🙂

    62. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says: 11 December, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      “And what about the Chain Bridge in Budapest – made out of iron, the first permanent crossing over the Danube. Completed in 1849. Shouldn’t it have rusted and fallen down by now? Or collapsed under the weight of modern traffic?

      There are a great number of wrought iron bridges over rivers in the Scottish Border areas. Mind you most are mainly pedestrian.

    63. jdman says:

      “Tolls are indeed a red herring. Road users pay road tax and fuel duty and the Roads and bridges should be maintained from that revenue. But of course, that is not what that revenue is used for.”

      That’s a really good point, it’s a well-known fact that the road fund licence is used for anything BUT the maintenance of the roads, but does Scotland have a devolved share of the fund to use it for the purpose it was designed for?
      Anyone know?

    64. Legerwood says:

      From the Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday on 17th Dec 2006

      “In November last year [2005] a full independent assessment of the state of cables on the Forth Road Bridge was commissioned after initial inspections by the Forth Estuary Transport Authority found some corroded cables on the bridge. It said that unless action was taken the 42-year-old bridge could close to heavy goods vehicles by 2013.

      Campaigners have said a new road crossing would help reduce congestion and stimulate the local economy.

      • The Scotsman launched a campaign on 20 November to demand that the Scottish Executive commit itself immediately to building an additional crossing over the Firth of Forth to avert an economic disaster.

      Engineers are predicting that the existing road bridge between North and South Queensferry will be closed to lorries by the end of 2013. Six years later, the bridge could be so weak that it may have to close altogether.

      At the time, the Executive had put off the decision until after the election. The Scotsman said such a strategy was taking an unacceptable gamble with Scotland’s economy. Economists calculate that a lorry ban would cost the nation about 900 million a year. A total closure of the bridge would cost about 2 billion.

      The campaign enlisted the support of virtually all major businesses across the country, with high-profile bodies such as CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Edinburgh and Fife Chambers of Commerce. It also had the endorsement of the former first minister Henry McLeish and the Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

      Liz Cameron, director of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “We support The Scotsman’s campaign for a new crossing, to be built in time to preserve this vital strategic route.”

      Other groups backing a new crossing include the Freight Transport Association, AA Motoring Trust and RAC Foundation, and Superfast Ferries, which operates between nearby Rosyth and Zeebrugge.””

      Mr McConnel did not want any decision to be made about the bridge until after the election.

      Worth noting that predictions were made in 2006 that the bridge would be closed to HGVs by 2013. Whatever has been done with regards to maintenance it seems to have squeezed some extra life out of the bridge.

    65. Stuart says:

      Dr Scott Arthur deals with ‘Wings’ Pish on the subject of the Forth Road Bridge….


      August 2006: It is noted that the “existing truss is overstressed and will require to be strengthened”

      October 2009: An assessment of the Truss End Linkages has been undertaken. (Capital Plan to 2023/24, October 2009)

      October 2010: Audit Scotland notes that “Funding for 2011-2014 has still to be agreed with the Scottish Government” and that “Funding arrangements continue to provide management with challenges”.

      May 2010: A tender for work on the truss end links is cancelled.

      2011: Maintenance projects deferred due to a spending review. (Minutes, April 2014)

      August 2011: Audit Scotland notes that Funding for 2012-2015 has still to be agreed with the Scottish Government and that “Funding arrangements continue to provide management with challenges”.

      2012: A second round of projects were deferred. The “Truss End Linkages” were considered for deferral, but were found to be “vital to maintain the operational capacity of the bridge and were retained in the programme”. (Minutes, April 2014)

      October 2012: Audit Scotland notes that FETA has a “significantly reduced capital grant” and is “experiencing a 65% reduction in its three year capital grant to 2014/15”. Audit Scotland note that this “may impact on future project costs”.

      August 2013: It is noted that Truss End Linkage strengthening is going to tender and that the work was deferred from 2012/13. (Budget Monitoring 2013/14, August 2013)

      February 2014: It is reported that the Truss End Linkages are “significantly overstressed”. Based on cost and potential disruption, replacement is ruled out. Strengthening is to be trailed on the south west tower. It is noted that strengthening will cost £0.434m, whereas a repair will be £10m-£15m. (Minutes, February 2014)

      October 2013: Audit Scotland again notes that FETA has a “significantly reduced capital grant” and is “experiencing a 65% reduction in its three year capital grant to 2014/15”. Audit Scotland note that this “may impact on future project costs”.

      February 2014: “Truss End Linkages project” deferred to 2015/16 “due to issues with the design check”. (Budget Monitoring, 2014/15)

      February 2014: Costs associated with Truss End Linkages are expected to defer to 2014/15. (Budget Monitoring 2013/14, February 2014)

      February 2014: Full Replacement (not strengthening) of Truss End links is deferred to “post 2015/16 due to budgetary restraints”. (Revenue and Capital Budgets, 2014/15)

      February 2015: Truss End Linkages strengthening delayed due to “issues with the quality of the existing tower steelwork; the difficulties of access and the existence of red lead paint, coupled with the loss of key management staff”. Strengthening to be trial on the south west to be completed by May 2015. If successful, the remainder of the work will be undertaken by Transport Scotland in 2015/16. Further analysis is also being undertaken to re-assess the current capacity of the links to carry Abnormal Vehicles. It is noted that “this work may result in an operation restriction on the passage of the heavier loads that cross the bridge and may increase traffic disruption”. (Capital Plan and Reserves Update, February 2015)

      December 2015: Bridge closed.

    66. Macart says:

      Well laid out Rev. Cheers.

      Good to know the current SG were on the ball with the replacement. Shame the old bridge couldn’t make it across the finishing line as it were, but then its a QED moment as to why its construction was required in the first place.

    67. Breeks says:

      This fuss isn’t about the bridge, neither the old one or the new one.

      This is about stirring shit by a disgruntled Labour Party and their supine Unionist Press.

      They do it because they can, and that’s the real issue we should be addressing ourselves to. Once upon a time, shit stirrers were shunned as a nuisance and weren’t taken seriously. Once upon a time we had decent standards in journalism.

    68. Macart says:

      @Big Mac

      Not really. They’re simply doing what they do.

      They have no policy to speak of other than oppose and protest. They got caught short on the need for the new crossing so they’ve tugged the chain of their media attack dogs to deflect attention from the FACT that the Scottish Government made the right call.

      Its either whinge with a megaphone from a distance, or have folk focus on the fact that every single one of them opposed the building of a new crossing.(shrugs)

      They’re screw ups who know it better than we do, so deflection is their daily dish.

    69. Skooshcase says:

      O/T, but related to the Daily Record, published by Trinity Mirror plc

      Extracts from an article in the Guardian:

      No further action will be taken against companies and journalists accused of phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service said, announcing there was insufficient evidence to bring corporate charges against Rupert Murdoch’s News UK and criminal cases against 10 current and former Mirror Group employees.

      Operation Weeting, the hacking investigation which included looking into corporate liability at News UK… had resulted in a dossier of evidence being passed to the CPS in July this year.

      “Potential charges for phone hacking and perverting the course of justice were considered,” the CPS said. “After thorough analysis of the evidence, it has been decided that no further action will be taken for either charge.”

      It was also investigating allegations of phone hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People [and Daily Record], for the past three years.

      But the CPS said no charges would be brought after it reviewed several strands of evidence, adding that “scrutiny of suspicious call data” had been a significant deciding factor.’

      A civil lawyer who acted for one of the victims in that trial said the CPS decision was “quite unbelievable” given Mirror Group’s admissions during the case. The newspaper group admitted that around 100 articles about the eight victims were likely to have been the product of illegal newsgathering methods, including phone hacking and data blagging.

      Another leading lawyer, who did not want to be named, described the decision as bizarre. He said of the CPS: “They’ve lost the will to live. They’ve had enough of aggressive journalists’ defences. They’ve had a few successes but they’ve also lost a few. I wish they would just say ‘We’ve had enough’”.

      So, back to where we were, then. Well, that didn’t take long!

      Remember the Leveson Inquiry and Report…? What a farce.

    70. Croompenstein says:

      @Stuart aka fannybaws

      You missed January 2006 you complete wankbag zoomstation

      EDINBURGH and Fife could be left without a Forth crossing unless work on a new road bridge is under way by next year, the Forth Estuary Transport Authority has warned

      Who was in charge at Holyrood then thickospunkcat ??

    71. nodrog says:

      Dare I say it – this has been “A bridge too far” for the unionists. Project Fear has turned full circle they are now running scared of the SNP. Independence is on it’s way.

    72. Gary45% says:

      The Scotch-shire unionists and media, would be well advised,that shouting for the head of the transport minister will leave them with total humiliation.
      Derek Mackay’s bowel motions have more knowledge than any of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament.
      Here’s an analogy :-
      Your oven is broken, the rest of the kitchen is currently fine, and you ask a tradesman for advice.
      Tradesman 1 suggests that you replace your whole kitchen at a price of, say £25,000, with the consequence that your kitchen will be out of action for 2 weeks.
      Tradesman 2 suggests that you just replace the oven at a price of, say £500, which will take about one hour.
      You opt for Tradesman 2’s suggestion.
      Five years later, one of the hinges on a cupboard door breaks.
      Were you wrong to accept Tradesman 2’s advice 5 years earlier – as if you had accepted Tradesman 1’s advice, you would not now be having to replace the hinges on your cupboard door, as it would have been replaced with the rest of the kitchen 5 years ago ?
      If the unionists have nothing constructive to say, then they should keep their mouths closed.
      But then again it provides great entertainment for us wingers.

    73. Skooshcase says:

      David Clegg and Alan Roden distraught at the possibility of one of their abodes falling on their heads. It’s not easy for them living under a bridge, you know…!

    74. Breeks says:

      Just to add…

      We shouldn’t count our chickens regarding the new bridge. Certain toolmakers of my acquaintance express the gravest of reservations about the quality of Chinese steel. They use the stuff, I don’t, but we should be alert to the possibility of problems down the line.

      And just to add yet more…

      Despite the outstanding viaducts and bridges we enjoy as part of our landscape, it would be impractical to build a stone bridge comparable to the Forth road and rail bridges. The span to weight ratio would make the engineers weep if denied the use of steel, concrete and suspension technology. Furthermore, our stonemasonry industry is a pale shadow of its former self, and the knowledge of non-hydraulic limes is largely forgotten. There isn’t the skill to physically do it, nor engineers content to specify the relative unknown strengths and idiosyncrasies of natural stone as a structural component. The behaviour of concrete and steel is much more predictable in structural calculations, despite the finished product being inferior in comparison to 19th century craftsmanship. That is why any significant volume of modern stonework you might witness being built is typically cladding over a concrete substructure, and very often being built by monkeys who know SFA about limes and structural stonemasonry. And why should they? It’s only external wallpaper they are building.

    75. Jimbo says:

      “All these accusations by the Westminster supporters make me detest them even more. Am I the only one who feels like this?”


    76. Robbie says:

      It,s like taking your car to get a puncture fixed, Guy say,s no tyres flat. Dugdale appears and bleats “but in five years time it could be flat”? I love her.

    77. Robert Peffers says:

      @Phil Robertson says: 11 December, 2015 at 5:14 pm@7

      ” … The point is the confusion caused when he says one thing on Monday and contradicts himself on Tuesday.”

      Nope! He didn’t contradict himself – you, as usual, have misconstrues what he did say.

      Mr Peffers:

      “Do you really think that Labour was in power in 2010?”

      Eh! Where did I claim that?

      I’ll spell it out for you what I did say, Phil.

      Bridge management was first granted to the FRBJB, who remained in charge until 2002. Then responsibility for the bridge’s operation was passed, with a wider remit, to a new body called, the, “Forth Estuary Transport Authority”. (FETA).

      The bridge closed for the first time ever on 1 December 2010 due to heavy snow annd several vehicle collisions prevented snowploughs clearing the carriageways. The bridge closed in both directions at 6.40 a.m. for several hours.

      In June 2015 Amey took over maintenance and operating of the bridge on behalf of Transport Scotland, (from the Forth Estuary Transport Authority), They are now called the Forth Bridges Unit.

      So there you go, Phil. Labour appointed FETA and gave then Carte Blanch to do as they pleased.

      So I say again – Why did Labour not do something to prevent FETA doing as they pleased? It is only since last year that the SNP SG had any say in Bridge Maintenance matters.

    78. Potter says:

      Dr Scott couldnae nail a 2 inch putt.
      2006 Trusses required to be strengthened
      2015 Truss strengthening delayed
      Why did it take 9 years for Slab dominated quango 9 years to implement strengthening which would have cost £430000 when on disbanding returned 4.3 million to SGOV

      Slab greeting for an enquiry, be careful what you wish for

    79. caz-m says:

      Macart 5.58pm
      “…so deflection is their daily dish.”

      That sums up BBC Scotland perfectly.

      It’s what they DON’T tell the Scottish public, that is their real expertise.

      All the good things done by the Scottish Government are rarely reported. It’s SNP Bad all the way.

      That’s why they have attack dogs like Bradford and Campbell. They are kept in the bowels of Pacific Quay, starved for days, then let out of their cage to tear the Scottish Government to shreds.

    80. caz-m says:

      Can I ask a fairly simple question?

      What exactly does Kezia want Nicola to do with the Bridge?

    81. Famous15 says:


      Excellent summation.

      The sad thing is that important issues are not addressed because there is no SNPbad element

      What the daily Mail and Record etc peddle is propaganda not journalism.

    82. R4 says:

      Good coverage of The Bridge on STV news,pretty much taking the heat off SG.

      Not one word about the bridge so far on BBC Scotland. Must be really stuck for lies.

    83. Marco McGinty says:


      28 Dec 1879
      Tay Bridge collapses when a train was on it, killing in excess of 70 innocent souls.

      This was clearly the unionist government failing the people of the day, but I have noted that you’re particularly good at spouting your pro-union propagandist pish, so would you like to try and spin that one into a SNP bad piece?

      Or alternatively, you could try reading the main article for a change, before issuing your moronic comments.

    84. caz-m says:


      @ Breeks,

      Do you remember “Springster” from the Newsnet website in 2012?

      I also used Newsnet before coming over to Wings. (Different name then).

    85. Gary45% says:

      If Slab want to keep trying to get the shit to stick, I think they should take a long hard look at themselves

      I think I am correct in saying, remember the bleak days when the Labour Party made an arse of the running of Scotland, they signed over the roads maintenance to Amey (central Scotland)and Bear(Highland Region) to service the main trunk roads. might have been early 2000s or late 90s.
      The very first winter in charge of the A9 it was a complete shambles,A9 frozen, salt that thin it looked like it had been photocopied on.
      One of my friends who had been driving the same part of the A9 for about 12 years to and from work (70 mile round trip,) was nearly killed due to state of the road.
      I contacted Lewis Macdonald’s( who I think was in charge of infrastructure/roads etc.) office to complain and received the customary ” the companies are holding up to their part of the contractual agreement.( my friend said at the time it was the worst road conditions she had ever driven on, but the weather conditions were not that bad.
      Did they hold the contractors to account? No, spineless.
      The list goes on at the total incompetence of the Labour parties ability to take any responsibility on anything.
      The constant SNP bad just makes them and the rest of the opposition,look pathetic.

      At least the SNP are trying to run the country for the benefit if it’s citizens.

      Just remember,
      Red Tories, “The PFI party” ,
      Yellow Tories, LIARS,
      Tories, well enough said about that.

    86. Grouse Beater says:

      What’s the purpose of the Dr Scott’s of this world finding profound fault with Scotland’s government other than to wrestle Scotland from it and return it to England’s rule?

    87. Roger Hyam says:

      Why aren’t people just grateful we live in a country where bridges are inspected and fixed before anyone is hurt. I like engineers – and it is the same engineers no matter who is in charge.

    88. caz-m says:

      Nicola Sturgeon and her Government are doing everything that is within their power to get the Forth Road Bridge up and running as quickly and safely as possible.

      What more do you want them to do Kezia?

    89. Valerie says:

      Cry me a river, Slab

      Give them their enquiry, so SG can hang them out to dry.

    90. peter says:

      @Heedtracker, yes Scott Arthur,aka Brigadoon Gent aka Dr Scott thinks, trouble is he doesnt always think before he opens his cavernous,sneering UKOK gub!

    91. Dan Huil says:

      It’s the sour greetin-moo’d countenance of every unionist politician appearing on TV which tells the real story.

    92. gus1940 says:

      Unless my memory fails me under LAB/LIB one of the main arguments put forward against building the new bridge was the enormous projected cost figures they bandied about.

      The figures were at least twice the current bridge cost which unless something unforeseen happens in the next year will be completed on time and on if not under budget.

    93. Iain says:

      Why are unionists always glass is half empty pessimists, when patriotic Scots are optimistic glass full people. Maybe they are anticipating their forthcoming defeat in May.

    94. Andrew McLean says:


      Steel it’s a single item, to talk about toolmaking and bridges together then talk about quality is silly.

      You don’t have to worry I have caught fabricators switching hot and cold rolled steel, no kidding!

    95. Dr Jim says:

      If the Egyptians had built the bridge, it would still be perfect

      Not sure who was in power at that time, don’t think they had a steel industry though

      Of course not many cars at that time either so it kinda kills that theory

      They had a shipbuilding industry though, up and doon the Nile, just thought I’d get that one in seeing as Scotland’s got one now

      Congratulations to The FERGUSONS Shipyard and Jim McColl and the SNP led by Former First Minister Alex Salmond
      For rescuing and prospering a great Traditional Industry

      And the Yoons said shipbuilding would only survive with Westminster but next year there will be 400 workers and maybe more building commercial ships on the Clyde, Onwards and Upwards

      Cannae be done? Aye Right,, we remember all the Shite that came out of their mouths

    96. heedtracker says:

      peter says:
      11 December, 2015 at 7:20 pm
      @Heedtracker, yes Scott Arthur,aka Brigadoon Gent aka Dr Scott thinks, trouble is he doesnt always think before he opens his cavernous,sneering UKOK gub!

      Its a deeply conservative mentality, Scotland’s a Labour UK region, SLabour are great for their region, Scotland gets what it deserves but is basically rubbish, London, the queen, Westminster, all wonderful, no one will ever change this, if you want to, youre vile, a disgrace, unbeliever… red tory or blue, can they cling on next May, or will it be a further rejection of conservative UK in Scotland?

      Project Fear 2, kick off 1st Jan 2016.

    97. Bob Mack says:

      Considering something like 200 stone bridgesin England are currently under repair or have been severely damaged by storm Desmond perhaps stone may not be a great idea.

    98. dramfineday says:

      I’ve enjoyed the discussion regarding the engineering and associated political issues regarding the bridge failure. A full enquiry would be a grand idea. Particularly where we find “Lord” Darling also had a malignant input.

      Related: although living relatively locally, I’d never walked across the bridge until this autumn. I went with the intention of look

    99. The problem for Dr Scott’s line of argument is that the old Forth Bridge Authority knew in 1990 the road bridge was not likely to survive much past the year 2000.

      The problems with overload of the main span steel deck were first raised in 2001. In 2004 the problems with the main cabling were identified. In 2007 Transport Scotland reported to FETA that the main span steel work was at risk and required strengthening as, “The most critical fatigue details are likely to be located on the deck of the main span. The deck plate and trough thickness would be considered thin when compared to current practice.

      The first project Amey started on after taking over the maintenance contract in May 2015 was end plate strengthening. The very repairs FETA had been stalling on since the problems with the over stressed main span steel work was first raised as a serious concern in 2001.

      The only political question here is did the FETA board stall essential repairs because they knew their days were numbered as FETA had more than enough in their reserves to cover the work outlined in the 2007 Transport Scotland report with out impacting on planned and budgeted maintenance.

      The problem for Dr Scott’s line is at every turn, once you scratch the surface, the deeper lying problems all come back to rest with decisions made by Conservative, Liberal and Labour politicians year on year at local and national levels since 1990.

    100. dramfineday says:

      Continued… looking at the new bridge. I was astonished when reaching the central point at the amount of vibration. I think there’s a strong case for reducing the crossing speed to 30 mph.

      Apologies for the split in the message. Finger trouble and tablet trouble

    101. Capella says:

      @ Andrew Maclean
      If you mean the Chain Bridge – yes it was rebuilt in 1949 after the Germans blew it up. But it is still an iron bridge and the Budapestas are very proud of that, mentioning it in their tourist literature. I’ve been over it in a bus and duly appreciated the decor (iron lions)!

      “In World War II, the bridge was blown up on 18 January 1945 by the retreating Germans during the Siege of Budapest, with only the towers remaining. It was rebuilt, and it reopened in 1949.”

    102. Bob Mack says:

      Dr Scott Arthur has his mind set on post lecturer retirement methinks. What better than politics,and gjven he wants to be a Labour candidate you begin to see why he is trying too hard to impress his politcal masters.

      He has learned the art of truth economics from the best there is.Labour.

    103. ailsa craig says:

      BBC Scotland were putting the boot in on the Big Debate program at 12pm today. Just heard it. The panel included the Herald’s Alison Rowat, who apparently is ‘non political’ [aye right]

      Karin Lindsay – the LibDem newspaper editor who thinks Liar Carmichael is wonderful and is suffering greatly for a ’20 second lapse of concentration’, and ‘made a mistake’. She along with the hapless John Scott banged on about ‘chaos on the bridge’ while he dutifully added, ‘chaos in the schools, chaos in the hospitals, chaos in the police’. They almost burst into song.

      Brewer tried to get Chic Brodie to confirm that if any SNP MP lied, they should resign, but he put JGB down in the end by saying any MP found lying deliberately should resign. I just wish he had been a bit more forceful in SNP defence.

      All credit to SLab Tom Harris who took his defeat on Election night with a touch of humour; he talked a lot of sense and did not jump on to the SNP Bad bandwagon. Seemed one of the good guys and did not think Carmichael’s FM apology genuine.

      Every other person who spoke, apart from the pupils from Kyle Academy, seemed to be qualified engineers and experts on bridge construction. Funny that lack of scientists, engineers and mathematicians have worried all educational establishments for decades!

      Appreciated macnakamura’s sense of humour after that lot

    104. peter says:

      @Heedtracker,I think for a large percentage of the Nawbags its fear of the unknown that scares the shit out of them and change.
      They love the certainty of Good old Blighty and Good queen Bess and all that nonsensical UKOKERY.
      When we do manage to make the break there will be apprehension for all of us but the difference is we are willing to face it and embrace it and take the chance of building a society for all which at the very least has got to better than the situation we currently find ourselves in.

    105. Cadogan Enright says:

      @caledonia 2.27 Maith thú !!

      from small steps as this, the revolution will be won.

      One Record at a time

    106. heedtracker says:

      Bob Mack says:
      11 December, 2015 at 8:07 pm
      Dr Scott Arthur has his mind set on post lecturer retirement methinks

      More a bible thumper UKOk fundamentalist style of SLab unionist zealotry. God help us all if they ever get back in.

    107. Iain says:

      In Scotland we have had enough of unionism, it is time to stand on our on two feet. We are a small northern European country. Our country is rich in natural resources, can more than feed itself, it is rich in agricultural resources and timber. It apart from Norway and Iceland is the only country in Europe with significant fishing resources. We have nearly all the oil in the E.U. The tourism industry is booming and very significant. In contrast our other partner in the union can’t feed themselves, and is amongst the most indebted countries in the world. England is Greece, without the sunshine.

    108. Capella says:

      @ BDTT that is a bonny bridge! Wrought iron – canny beat it. Rip up all the plans and start again. Surely there’s a smelter nearby.

      Really impressive the wealth of engineering knowledge in Scotland. That’s what made the country great.

      @ ailsa craig I listened to Gordon Brewer interrupting Chic Brodie every time he started to speak. But I also noticed that Chic got a round of applause from the audience several times. So people are aware and conducting a furtive resistance.

    109. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ken Waldron says:11 December, 2015 at 5:17 pm:

      “There you go. Don’t See that getting reported in the “SNP Bhaaaddd…” media. Funny that.”

      I spent all my working life in the ship refitting industry. A fair number of those years were spent on the first RN nuclear powered submarine that began life with structural defects in the hull. This was mainly due to incompatibility between the qualities of the USA built steel of the mid ships reactor section and the UK steel used for the fore and aft sections of the boat.

      Among my jobs were the powering and maintenance of the x-ray and other equipment used to detect, machine out the re-weld the flaws in the welds and steel plates. After the detection I did the pre and post weld heating of the plates to prevent further flaws being caused by localised heat generated in the actual welding process.

      Such structural welding work is far more complex than replacing a rusted sill on a road vehicle. The prevention of flaws due to weld flux, for example, is but a small part of heavy steel manufacture and repair.

      Fractured steel is not confined to bad design, stress or overloading it could be as simple as a bit of flux not properly removed or not properly detected during manufacture. Perhaps even the pre or post heating being uneven. Hence the lack of surprise at the discovery of a crack in a steel structure in less tressed part.

    110. heedtracker says:

      peter says:
      11 December, 2015 at 8:13 pm
      @Heedtracker,I think for a large percentage of the Nawbags its fear of the unknown that scares the shit out of them and change.

      They will still be British, they’ll have a UK passport, can move away to anywhere in England and the EU(oops)

      Everyone has reservations about everything, its only normal. I don’t think English people are any different from Scots, yet Scottish independence is a real opportunity for change and red/blue tory UKOK zealots will say anything to stop all of it, no matter what it costs.

      Red tory SLab’s dying, propped up by a BBC led UKOK media that’s become a laughing stock in Scotland, just for starters.

      And ofcourse, Jeremy Corbyn’s crew have been watching Scottish politics very closely.

    111. Alastair Wright says:

      To put everything in context, the closure of the Forth Road Bridge is actually about citizens of Scotland not being able to get on with our C21st lives, not the whatabootery of when to repair a bridge thats pushed beyond safe use (Ye cannae change the laws of fizzics capn’). What we actually have is an example of decades of neglect and incompetence in relation to OUR transport infrastructure resulting in an entirely predictable outcome. First Beeching decimates central Scotland’s rail network, increasing demand for road transport. Next Westminster and Labour councils fail to adequately invest in Scotland’s road network, bean counters refuse to allow dehumidifiers (corrosion inhibitors) on the main stress bearing components of the bridge. Then when the road traffic increases beyond predictions Westminster refuse to construct a further crossing, result? The bridge has a major failure. My only question is why do citizens of Scotland still think Westminster is best placed to govern us?

    112. Iain says:

      The best resource Scotland has is it’s people. The best educated in the world apparently. It also has some of the top universities in the world.

    113. Andrew McLean says:

      You can see why everyone’s angry, we in Scotland have never had problems with bridges?

    114. Capella says:

      @ Alistair Wright
      And don’t forget that Beeching was employed by the Minister of Transport at the time Ernest Marples, of Marples Ridgway motorway construction company:

      ” He both oversaw the significant construction, he opened the first section of the M1 motorway, and the closure of a considerable portion of the national railway network with the Beeching cuts. His involvement in the road construction business Marples Ridgway, of which he had been managing director, was one of repeated concern regarding possible conflict of interest.
      In later life he was elevated to the peerage before fleeing to Monaco at very short notice to avoid prosecution for tax fraud.”

    115. One_Scot says:

      The thing is with the Daily Record they have a track record off printing pish/lies constantly, so whenever I see one of their front pages, which is not very often, I automatically think pish/lies.

    116. DerekM says:

      Typical onions nothing is ever their fault,the new bridge should have been built a decade ago to take the stress off the old one,and its not like this had not been discussed but each time it was shelved under the premise the old one was fine.

      This is a case of hoping nothing would happen to the old bridge and i doubt very much the new one would be under construction if the onions were still in charge.

      Its unfortunate timing for the SNP but proves them imo correct to have started to build a new bridge,as for the onions well they can moan as much as they want the fact remains they did fuck all about it.

    117. Iain says:

      The trolls are out!

    118. Clootie says:

      The SNP are motivated by a desire to improve the lives of the citizens of Scotland.
      The Unionists are motivated to produce negative stories in order to damage the SNP in order to secure the union.
      Which motivation is worthwhile?

      On another topic – The BBC Reporting Scotland has hit a new low tonight and appears now to be a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party (Branch Office)

    119. DerekM says:

      hey stuart your wanna be wings over Scotland site by that arsehole has zero credibility now away back to Labour hame and talk pish with your SNP bad pals you fanny.

    120. pitchfork says:

      Lots of Jolly Jack Troll Boys.

      Wonder why they feel the need to put this effort in?

      Can it be they are worried?

    121. Phil Robertson says:

      Mr Peffers
      “I’ll spell it out for you what I did say, Phil.
      Bridge management was first granted to the FRBJB, who remained in charge until 2002. Then responsibility for the bridge’s And on and on …”

      What are you talking about? What you wrote is NONE of the above. Your words were “You actually are talking about a fault that was known about before the SNP took office. That being so, why did not Labour do something?” and continued to say “This present fault has only just been discovered and how could an unknown fault be relevant?”

      My posting was not about any fault but about Derek Mackay’s confusion about a report from 2010.

    122. Chic McGregor says:

      @Alastair Wright

      “My only question is why do citizens of Scotland still think Westminster is best placed to govern us?”

      Because instead of HS2 we get BS 1.0.1

    123. Andrew McLean says:

      Sorry links are not working, first was squinty bridge closed due to structure crack, second was the on going saga of the Kingston bridge that had serious problems, if you remember the daily record says it was going to collapse into the Clyde, very similar story exempt strange lack of one day bridge engineers and of course no SNP bad? I wonder why?

    124. Iain says:

      How are diplomatic relations going to be with England, once we get our inevitable independence? Will the present Tory government wise up and face the inevitable after May or will they still try to put Scotland down at every possible opportunity.

    125. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi DerekM & One_Scot.

      Your mentions of ‘pish’ in connection with the Record and Scottish Labour.

      A couple of badge designs we came up, earlier this year.

    126. McDuff says:

      Why can`t the SNP fight back with information like this They have become too wishy-washy and lack assertion.

    127. peter says:

      @Stuart I wonder if your hero Dr Scott thinks about cumulative damage models such as Miners Rule which would have told him that the levels of stress the bridge has had to endure along with the unseen number of cycles has ultimately led to failure and could have been prevented if your unionist friends had exercised some control over the battering this structure has taken over the decades?
      I know you dont, because that would have required you to able to count past your 11 fingers and twelve toes!

    128. Andrew McLean says:

      Probably rubbish but gossip from friendly editor has private poll saying SNP rating has went through roof, poll by Labour or for them has party rocked? Even some list not enough votes, supposedly straight from horses mouth? Liberals wiped out, Tory slight rise in share?

      He or she is not usually wrong, can’t say which publisher obviously!

    129. Robert Peffers says:

      @Stuart says: 11 December, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      ” … Dr Scott Arthur deals with ‘Wings’ Pish on the subject of the Forth Road Bridge….”

      Oh! Aye! Stuart, Dr Scott Arthur. Actual famous expert on sewerage, drains and a prolific contributor to Labour Hame.

      That same Dr Scott Arthur, who seems to pontificate upon all things as an expert on everything – and master of none. That Dr Scott Arthur, who seems to specialise in a fine line of SNP BAAAD bashing and one wonders how he finds time for giving lectures at the Heriot Watt.

    130. peter says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Think you mean the Herry Twat University

    131. Craig P says:

      I want to get Andy Wightman into Holyrood. with stuff like this though it is hard not to recommend vote SNP/SNP.

    132. Craig P says:

      I want to get Andy Wightman the (Green) land reformer into Holyrood. With stuff like this though it is hard not to recommend SNP/SNP.

    133. Capella says:

      @ Craig P
      I think it is vital that we get Andy Wightman into Holyrood. Everyone in his constituency should vote for him if they want to progress Land Reform. And if you don’t want to progress Land Reform, you haven’t been paying attention.

    134. Robert Peffers says:

      @Breeks says: 11 December, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      ” … Once upon a time we had decent standards in journalism.”

      Aye! Breeks but you may note that the tide is ebbing on the unionist sands and flowing on those of independence.

      It is debatable if that is due to, or in spite of, deplorable standards of journalism.

      We still have a few good ones left but sadly one of the better ones has just passed away.

      R.I.P. Ian Bell, who has just passed away aged 59. A victim of cancer.

    135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Dr Scott Arthur deals with ‘Wings’ Pish on the subject of the Forth Road Bridge….”

      LOLZ. “Dr Scott” couldn’t deal with a puddin’ supper if a dog had chewed it up for him first.

    136. Ken500 says:

      Lang, Forsyth, Campbell and Darling. Did not build another bridge, but stood by when the equivalent of £Billions in Oil revenues went to the UK Treasury. Thatcher devastated the Scottish economy and cancelled a pipe line, wasting the equivalent of £Billions of Gas. The Gas was burnt off. McConnell put £1.3Billion back to Westminster.

    137. Robert Peffers says:

      @Bob Mack says: 11 December, 2015 at 8:07 pm:

      “Dr Scott Arthur has his mind set on post lecturer retirement methinks.”

      He has more articles on Labour Hame than lectures at Heriot Watt. His real expertise lies in sewers and drains. We all know the very true old saw about sewers. “You only get out of them what you put into them”.

      With his qualifications, Dr Scott Arthur should know all about that.

    138. Luigi says:

      It seems to me, that there are indeed big challenges the SG government currently face running the country, and that most of these are from two recognizable sources:

      1. Mismanagement by previous Labour administrations – still cleaning up the mess.

      2. Misrule and fund slashing by Westminster Tories – mitigating the worse effects.

    139. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says: 11 December, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      “Really impressive the wealth of engineering knowledge in Scotland. That’s what made the country great.”

      As a matter of historic fact what made Scotland great goes further back than her engineering, scientific and medical capacity an knowledge.

      This for example :-

      Education Act, 13 June 1496

      Item, it is statute and ordanit throw all the realme that all barronis and frehaldaris that ar of substance put thair eldest sonnis and airis to the sculis fra thai be aucht or nyne yeiris of age, and till remane at the grammer sculis quhill thai be competentlie foundit and have perfite Latyne, and thaireftir to remane thre yeris at the sculis of art and jure, sua that thai may have knawlege and understanding of the lawis, throw the quhilkis justice may reigne universalie throw all the realme, sua that thai that ar schireffis or jugeis ordinaris under the kingis hienes may have knawlege to do justice, that the pure pepill sulde have na need to seik oure soverane lordis principale auditouris for ilk small injure. And quhat baroune or frehaldar of substance that haldis nocht his sone at the sculis, as said is, haifand na lauchful essonze bot failyeis heirin, fra knawlege may be gotten thairof, he sall pay to the king the soume of xx l.

      Owersettin intil the Innglis:-

      Item, it is decreed and ordained throughout the realm that all barons and freeholders who are wealthy put their eldest sons and heirs into school from the time they are eight or nine years old, and to remain at the grammar schools until they are competently instructed and have perfect Latin, and thereafter to remain three years at the schools of art and law, so that they may have knowledge and understanding of the laws, through which justice may reign universally throughout the realm, so that those who are sheriffs or judges ordinary under the king’s highness will have the knowledge to do justice [and] that the poor people should have no need to seek our sovereign lord’s principal auditors for each small injury. And any baron or freeholder of wealth whosoever who does not keep his son at school, as is said, with no lawful excuse but fails herein, from the information that can be had of it, he shall pay the king the sum of £20.

      (Translation taken from Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707,

      This began a long term love affair with educating the masses.

      It eventually led to Scotland leading Europe into the Enlightenment of which Voltaire said:-

      “Nous nous tournons vers l’Écosse pour trouver toutes nos idées sur la civilisation”

      Translation into the English –
      (“We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation”)

      One rather bizarre little Scottish historic fact gave Scotland a lead in medical science that Scotland still held well into the 1960/70 – Burke & Hare plus Dr Robert Knox, (1828):-

      The killings were attributed to two Northern Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare.

      These two sold corpses of their 16 victims to Doctor Robert Knox as dissection material for his well-attended anatomy lectures. They robbed graves at first, but emboldened by not being caught then started to murder their victims. The resulting knowledge of anatomy gave Edinburgh Medical College a lead they held until at least the 1980s.

      Ye maun learn somthin ony nicht oan Wings.

    140. DerekM says:

      @ McDuff

      Why would they fight back McDuff they know that their bosses will do that for them 😉

      And anyway i would much rather our elected officials got on with the job of running Scotland than getting involved in a westminster style shit flinging exercise,in fact if they did i would loose respect for them,leave the bollocks to the onions and westminster,i want a parliament that works for me not for a political agenda and any party that is unable to grasp this new political concept will be swept away into the dustbin of history and that includes the SNP.

    141. nodrog says:

      An inquiry there must be the Scottish voters need to know who of the Blue Tories, Red Tories or Yellow Tories have the courage to stand for constituencies and please name the cowards who will only be on the Lists. That is an inquiry we need to see the results of. Then the people will know who we can trust.

    142. Robert Peffers says:

      @Phil Robertson says: 11 December, 2015 at 8:57 pm:

      “Bridge management was first granted to the FRBJB, who remained in charge until 2002. Then responsibility for the bridge’s And on and on …””

      Yes Dear! There! There! There!

      So, Phil, the FRBJB were appointed by the Labour administration and given a watertight contract to do as they pleased – and they did. When things became known, which required attention, it was not attended to.

      After which the job was given to FETA, who had the same type of contract given to the company that failed with the Edinburgh Trams, and like the Edinburgh Trams the contract was so watertight that the SNP couldn’t throw them out.

      “What are you talking about?”

      Quite obviously I’m talking about things you do not comprehend.

      “Your words were “You actually are talking about a fault that was known about before the SNP took office. That being so, why did not Labour do something?” and continued to say “This present fault has only just been discovered and how could an unknown fault be relevant?”

      Indeed that is so. The faults were known about and some of them were not attended to and actually some will still exist even after this present, Newly Discovered fault is corrected.

      The SNP SG only became responsible for the bridge a short time ago but had already commissioned the new bridge by then.

      “My posting was not about any fault but about Derek Mackay’s confusion about a report from 2010.”

      Indeed it was and my first statement was that Derek had told it as it was i.e. you, not he, was confused.

    143. David says:

      So we have problems with the bridge and the primary instincts of the unreconstructed slab, dem and Tory nawbags is to try and skew and manipulate the history in their favour. Even if they are partially correct about the past they don’t seem to understand that many of of us want to look forwards as positively as we can. We look at their current state and our primary instincts are that they have sod all to to offer us for the future. That is their very big problem. Thank goodness in the here and now we have a competent Scottish Government sorting out this problem. For that I am truly grateful.

    144. Robert Peffers says:

      @McDuff says: 11 December, 2015 at 9:08 pm:

      “Why can`t the SNP fight back with information like this They have become too wishy-washy and lack assertion.”

      Are you mad or something?

      Look at it this way, McDuff. The Daily Record and other Establishment rags are all losing readers in direct relation to the SNP membership growth and support for independence.

      So why would they start to fight dirty like the unionists and lower themselves to the same tactics that are losing the unionists support?

    145. Capella says:

      “Ye maun learn somthin ony nicht oan Wings.”

      Quite so Robert. Wings is a compendium of Scottish knowledge. Long may it soar.

    146. Paula Rose says:

      I used to be flighty – but then I got Wings.

    147. K1 says:

      I cannot wait until we wipe them out. They are a shower of utter bastards, and all they have along with the trolls in evidence of Wings throughout this thread is nothing but stupidity and ignorance and childish attempts at point scoring pouring out of them.

      There’s no amount of ‘relating’ to the thick witted and petted lipped Unioinist mindset that will ever shift their outlook. They’ve got no sane arguments about why we should remain in this UK union, more saliently they have no common sense and absolutely no vision.

      It’s over and there is nothing they can do about it, so they wail and rail against the SNP. Is that it? Tit for tat? Always blaming, always petty, never generous of spirit, never kind.

      Pathetic. If you don’t like living in Scotland and how things are shaping up, may I suggest you all just fuck off, instead of trolling those of us who still have enough humanity left in us to want to see all of Scotland prosper.

      We’re taking our country back. Get over it, or get tae fuck.

    148. yesindyref2 says:

      Yeah, that’s it in a nutshell.

    149. peter says:

      @K1 11.51

      Couldnt have put it better myself!!

    150. crazycat says:

      @ Capella

      Andy Wightman isn’t standing in a constituency, as far as I know.

      He’s second on the Lothians list, which means that Alison Johnstone has to be re-elected, with enough surplus votes for Andy too. They have had 2 MSPs in that region before, so it’s not impossible, but I’d prefer it to be at the expense of unionists.

      Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson would be ideal losers to make the required space.

    151. Derek says:

      The defective part is the replacement for the vertical suspension wire nearest to the bridge pier. Given the age of it and having seen speeded-up film footage that shows the bridge’s movement with relation to traffic, I’m not surprised at the fractures as the roadway is moving in all planes. Fortunately, it looks like it’s a relatively easy component to replace.

      There’s a lot of interesting film to be had about the bridge.

    152. Ken500 says:

      Elect any Greens and there would never be a new Bridge or anything else. The Greens have wasted £Million/Billions of public money and stopped Development all over Scotland. Making people’s lives harder. They are lying hypocritical crooks. Thry renege on their own policies and ruin towns and cities, making journeys longer. The lie about everything. They ally with Unionists/landowners to destroy towns, cities and infrastructure. They renege on their own policies to line their own pockets. Against the majority wishes and the public interest.

      They will renege on Independence. The use their casting vote to vote with the Status quo. Wasting £Billions of public money and ruining towns and cities. Colluding with Landowners who fund them. Colluding with tax evaders making people’s lives harder.

      Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

    153. jdman says:

      Dr Jim
      “Congratulations to The FERGUSONS Shipyard and Jim McColl and the SNP led by Former First Minister Alex Salmond
      For rescuing and prospering a great Traditional Industry”

      I nearly cried when I saw that little ship rolling down the slipway, and thought, may you be the first of many and good luck to all at Fergusons, the whole countries proud of you.
      And to Mr Mcoll may your fortunes rise and you fame spread, you are a true son of Scotland.

      Now see what you’ve done Dr Jim,
      my eyes have developed a leak.

      Stuart, Phil
      When you standing on the crumbling edge of a volcano, the last thing you want to do is push away the guy who’s trying to save you, now why don’t you take the outstretched hand?
      peace guys

    154. jdman says:

      Specially when the Rev knows a friendly dug that prepared to chew a puddin supper fur ye, sois ye kin manage it, ken?

    155. McDuff says:

      Robert Peffers

      Read my post properly.
      I suggested that the SNP respond with the same accurate information as laid out in this article, can you explain how that could possibly be interpreted as “fighting dirty“

    156. Capella says:

      @ crazycat
      Agreed. It would be good if a unionist lost to make way for Andy Wightman. I’m not so familiar with the mechanics to know if that would be possible so have to accept that he may not get in – which would be a pity.

    157. The question that needs to constantly posed every time to Labour politicians and party members who continue to condemn the Scottish Government over its handling of the closure of the Forth Road bridge

      Is this, what would Labour have done if the Scottish Government had heeded their advice and not commissioned the building of the new Forth Crossing?

    158. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      @Andrew McLean says:
      “private poll saying SNP rating has went through roof, poll by Labour or for them has party rocked? Even some list not enough votes, supposedly straight from horses mouth? Liberals wiped out, Tory slight rise in share?”

      Good news Andrew – we have to keep pushing onwards. Every vote the SNP consigns the Unionists to history.

      This is why the BBC and MSM are going into overdrive in propaganda mode – trying to hold back a SNP landslide that they know is coming.

      Hence why it is so important to vote SNP 1 and SNP 2 for Holyrood next year.
      Let’s boot out as many Unionist MSPs as possible.

    159. Ruby says:

      ‘Challenged on the proposed GBP 4 increase in bridge tolls he said no formal decision had been made, but indicated he did not believe such a steep rise from the current GBP 1 charge could be justified. He said: “I believe the economic argument against a GBP 4 toll is strong, but we will not make a decision in advance of the due process we have to follow through.”

      He said a final decision on any toll increase would have to wait until the bigger decision on the future of the crossings had been taken. He said: “These are big decisions, they require proper analysis and it is the responsibility of the devolved Scottish government to do that.”

      IT WISNAE ME ; McConnell refuses to take blame for election drubbing
      The First Minister was put in the firing line by Scots Secretary Alistair Darling who claimed a row over Forth road bridge tolls scuppered Labour’s chances in Dunfermline and West Fife.

      JACK McCONNELL yesterday dodged the flak flying over Labour’s by- election defeat, saying: “It’s not my fault.”

      The First Minister was put in the firing line by Scots Secretary Alistair Darling who claimed a row over Forth road bridge tolls scuppered Labour’s chances in Dunfermline and West Fife.

      But McConnell hit back, saying there was nothing more he could have done to clear up Labour’s shambles over the tolls.’

      I’ve been reading through some old articles about the Forth Bridge and I came across the above.
      Is it true that Labour under Jack McConnell went into an election without specifying whether the toll on the bridge would or wouldn’t be £4?

      Was the intention to charge £4 a means of covering the cost of the new bridge?

      If they were talking about a new bridge in 2007 what caused the delay?

    160. Ruby says:

      Ooops! I put last post on wrong thread.

    161. Duncan Martin says:

      There are hi-tech ways of monitoring structures which are known to be at risk of failure. They are widely used to monitor aircraft, nuclear reactors and,I believe, bridges. Were these being used on the Bridge? If not, why not? If I were an engineer I would be embarrassed.

      As far as the disruption goes, planned maintenance is always less disruptive than emergency work. After all, the present remedial work is only lasting a few days – it’s the design and planning that are taking the time. The work could have been done over Christmas and New Year when commercial and commuting traffic is less.

      I wonder if the damage was been accelerated by the vibration of vehicles passing over the joints. It is possible that if the speed limit had been reduced, and enforced by average speed cameras, that it would have lasted much longer.

      I must also point out that ScoGov is committed to halving the CO2 from transport by 2030, although there is a deafening silence as to how they plan to deliver this. Increasing road capacity doesn’t seem the right direction.

    162. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There are hi-tech ways of monitoring structures which are known to be at risk of failure. They are widely used to monitor aircraft, nuclear reactors and,I believe, bridges. Were these being used on the Bridge? If not, why not? If I were an engineer I would be embarrassed.”

      Embarrassed about what? As far as anyone seems able to tell the damage only occurred very recently. Until then there was nothing to discover, and the thing that happened has been discovered before it was in danger of causing any serious consequences. What’s the issue here? Sometimes things break.

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