Fife Council welcomes Queensferry crossing as boost to businesses
Published: Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 by Fife Council
The completion of the £1.35 billion bridge later this summer will see a whole host of direct benefits for the Kingdom, including improved transport links, reduced commuting times and greater connectivity with the surrounding areas.
Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Alexander, said: “The Queensferry Crossing is a key infrastructure project for Fife, and is a key economic driver for our local economy and productivity.
“Improved infrastructure and better transport links between cities and regions is good for local people, communities, businesses and visitors. I look forward to seeing Fife companies – both large and small - benefit from this infrastructure investment, both immediately when it becomes operational, and in the years to come.
“From actively driving investment, to developing a highly skilled local workforce, Fife Council is working hard to make the region a great place to live, work, visit and to do business."
Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “Major infrastructure investments are important to pushing forward our vision for the region as a vibrant economy where its business environment inspires people to create jobs.
“Modern business infrastructure is central to economic development and regeneration. Fife Council is committed to supporting two important City Deals – both the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal and the Tay Cities Deal. A key part of these involves driving forward additional infrastructure investment to address the connectivity needs that businesses have.
“Productivity, innovation and skills development, along with improved infrastructure, are all set to boost growth and prosperity for the local economy.”
Benefits of the Queensferry Crossing include:
Increased accessibility - journeys across the Forth will be faster and more reliable, and travel disruptions due to congestion, accidents, breakdowns and the weather will be greatly reduced.
Improved connectivity - access will be improved to key investment sites, industrial land and business parks across Fife, including:
- Gateway Rosyth, an international port with a proven track-record in complex project mobilisation and delivery, it is a world-class location for marine, energy, logistics and engineering businesses. With easy access by road, rail, air and sea, Rosyth is Scotland’s gateway to the world.
- Queensway, Glenrothes, a well-established business park that is set to feature new industrial units available by the end of 2017, and is home to the UK’s largest datacentre.
- John Smith Business Park, a thriving centre with land available for hotel, restaurant and office development and first-class connectivity, including close proximity to the A92, and Kirkcaldy town centre being approximately a five minutes’ drive.
Relieved congestion and easier commuting - Approximately 70,000 vehicles cross the Forth Road bridge each day. As well as the existing Forth Road Bridge delivering a dedicated public transport corridor, the Queensferry Crossing will help commuters travel more easily to Edinburgh, and other cities, and to Edinburgh Airport. Fife is less than an hour’s drive to Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth and Glasgow.
Economic benefits - to date, over 10,000 people have been inducted to work on the construction site since 2011, clocking up over 13 million hours of work in the process. Many more people are indirectly employed and benefiting through the project’s supply chain, including with Fife-based firms such as Briggs Marine, the winner of the Outstanding Business Achievement award at the 2017 Fife Business Awards.
Increased investment - the new bridge will bring a stream of new business looking to acquire land and property in Fife, or set up within the Kingdom. Plus, better and more reliable movement of stock will make headquartering on this side of the bridge more attractive.
Better connectivity with Dundee - a city that is set to reap the benefits of a new train station and waterfront ready to host the new V&A as well as incoming investment from businesses that now want to be associated with a City of Culture nominee.
Advancing tourism - Tourism already supports approximately 4,500 jobs and there are many cultural hotspots for visitors to explore, including Falkland Palace, St Andrews and the new Dunfermline Carnegie Galleries and Library. The new bridge will enable Fife to build on existing opportunities, grow Fife’s cultural offering and attract visitors all year round.
On the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the Firth of Forth will become home to three major bridges from three consecutive centuries. The Forth Bridge is the longest standing, and a designated World Heritage site. The Forth Bridges Forum’s Tourism Project Group is progressing a tourism strategy to develop and promote the wider area to increase both domestic and international visitors.
Opportunities to diversify – Fife has a thriving tourism industry and agriculture, fishing and drinks industries are big business for the local economy, as are renewable energy technology and manufacturing. There is also significant potential to generate more, smarter, better paid jobs within the food and drink, and creative and cultural industries as well as the digital sector.
Scottish Government Infrastructure Secretary, Keith Brown, said: “Excitement and global interest is certainly building as the new Queensferry Crossing nears completion. It will provide greater resilience and improve the reliability of journey times, helping people get to their places of work as well as helping businesses get their goods to market.
“The impressive structure will provide a motorway connection between the Lothians and Fife for the first time, with two lanes of traffic and a hard shoulder in each direction. This will reduce the impact of breakdowns and accidents when crossing the Forth. The bridge also features windshielding which will all but eliminate the need to place restrictions on traffic during periods of high wind. These are key elements which will improve the speed and reliability of journey times over the Forth.
“There have been significant economic benefits from the delivery of this project to date. Currently over 1,500 people are employed on site, in excess of 10,000 people have been inducted to work on the construction site since 2011, clocking up over 13 million hours of work in the process. Whilst this reflects the number of people working directly on site, many more will be indirectly employed and benefitting through the project’s supply chain.
“The Queensferry Crossing is a world class infrastructure project. It is the tallest bridge in the UK and the longest bridge of its type in the world. It features a highly innovative, efficient and resilient design with a life span of 120 years, meaning it will serve both businesses and communities in Scotland for many years to come.”
The 1.7-mile long cable stay bridge, which will replace the Forth Road Bridge as the main road route between Fife and Edinburgh, is due to open on 30 August 2017.
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