As guardian of the Forth Bridge, Network Rail has a vision of opening up this magnificent structure and symbol of Scotland to the public for the first time. The idea isn't a new one but with the 125th anniversary of its opening on the horizon and a pending application for World Heritage Listing, the timing couldn't be better.
The first steps
Whilst we will be undertaking further research, as a result of our initial feasibility study we have identified two concepts for visitor experiences.
Early surveys suggest that there is strong demand for visiting the bridge. Looking at similar experiences both in Scotland and abroad, we estimate that both visitor experiences would attract in excess of 100,000 visitors per year, with a potential for more than 200,000 at the visitor's centre.
The executive summary of The Forth Bridge Experience initial feasibility study provides further information on the consultation stage.Download feasibility study
Reinvesting in a Scottish landmark
With the large numbers of visitors we're expecting, we believe we can create an affordable experience for family groups through the visitor's centre and thrill seekers walking the bridge. Profits will be reinvested in the bridge's primary purpose – to keep trains running across the Forth. These funds will help to keep the bridge in shape, preserving it for generations to come.
The local community
At this early stage there are still considerations to be made as to how we maximise the benefit to the local community, but as it stands we expect the experience to generate, or secure between 220 and 430 full time jobs within the local and Scottish economy. Local businesses will be boosted through increased footfall and the area around the visitor centre will form newly created outdoor space for everyone to use.
In consultation with local architects, we have been very careful to minimise the impact of existing views of the bridge. Buildings, viewing platforms and access infrastructure will all be designed to ensure the bridge remains as magnificent as it has been for the past 125 years. As the project progresses we will have a better idea of how we can minimise the impact on the local environment whilst maximising the potential for Scotland and the local area.
We'd love to hear what you think.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, your opinion really matters to us and can help us decide what our next steps should be. So please take our survey and play your part in this exciting new project.
27 Aug 2013
RAIL BRIDGE VISITOR PLANS
The Forth Bridge, will become publicly accessible for the first time by 2015 under plans revealed by Network Rail today.Find out more
23 Aug 2013
FEASIBILITY STUDY DETAIL UNVEILED
Network Rail has released details of an early stage feasibility study undertaken to test the business case for a visitor’s experience.Find out more
23 Aug 2013
Market Research Launched
Network Rail has launched a second phase of market research into a Forth Bridge visitor’s experience.Find out more