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 Forth Bridge visitor’s experience.

While further research will now be undertaken, early research demonstrates the following:

Evidence of demand
Initial research, based on a small sample, indicates that there is significant evidence of demand for:
•    The visitor centre and lift (82%)
•     The bridge walk (80%)
•     A grand bridge walk from end to end (63%)

In general, the more challenging the visitor experience becomes, the lower the level of interest from respondents although interest in all three elements is very high.

Bridge walk from the South Queensferry side of the bridge
It is estimated that there is a minimum requirement for a 750m2 visitor hub which would provide a reception space for people departing on a bridge walk

Visitor numbers
It is estimated that the bridge walk could attract between 75,810 and 126,350 visitors per year on a sustainable basis.

Transport
We are committed to encouraging and incentivising use of sustainable transport, particularly rail, to reach the bridge. Car parking provision will be provided, however, we will work with local community and councils to assess the best transport solutions.

Visitor centre at North Queensferry

Estimated visitor numbers
It is estimated that the visitor centre and lift could attract between 136,910 and 230,162 visitors per year on a sustainable basis. Of these, there could be 78,895 to 133,472 visitors paying an admission fee to use the lift to visit the viewing platform.
Visitors who do not pay for the tour can visit the other facilities in the visitor centre.

Transport
As with the South Queensferry proposal, we are committed to encouraging and incentivising use of sustainable transport, particularly rail, to reach the bridge. Car parking provision will be required, however, we will work with the local community and councils to assess the best transport solutions.

Economic benefits
It is estimated that the full scale Forth Bridge Experience could create or safeguard between 229 and 432 full time equivalent jobs in the local and Scottish economy.