Derek Mackay must listen to Alex Rowley and come clean

scott arthurScott Arthur is a civil engineer and Scottish Labour activist. Here he gives his perspective on the closure of the Forth Road Bridge.

 

Derek Mackay’s claim that Labour is “deliberately misinterpreting the facts” surrounding the closure of the Forth Road Bridge only has a chance of holding water if he were to tell Scots what the facts actually are.

When the failure was first discovered the Scottish Government tried to tell Scotland that it was spontaneous and unexpected. This argument was slowly picked apart by online bloggers, not Labour, who trawled through FETA minutes and Audit Scotland reports.

These blogs, amplified by press reports, forced Nicola Sturgeon to admit that her government had made substantial cuts to FETA’s budget. This was followed by an admission from Derek Mackay that work cancelled in 2010 would have seen the failed component replaced – this contradicted advice he had previously given to parliament.

Following these revelations, First Minister’s Questions last week proved to be an open goal for the opposition leaders – Kezia Dugdale scored a hat-trick. Derek Mackay’s response to this was the blame FETA. By doing this he blamed internationally respected engineers who were hamstrung by the budget his party had cut.

In a move that can only mean that those within FETA were unhappy with the blame game being played by the SNP, documents were leaked over the weekend to bloggers and newspapers. These showed that FETA had real concerns about the “truss end links” and that they were communicated to the Scottish Government.

It is within this context that Labour’s Alex Rowley, whose Fife constituency is hugely affected by the closure, is asking for full disclosure of all the documents surrounding the bridge’s maintenance.

Bizarrely, in response Derek Mackay accused Alex Rowley of “deliberately misinterpreting the facts” for asking for all the facts to be placed in the public domain.

The impact of the bridge closure has been huge. This ranges from ruined Christmas plans to lost profits and spiraling commuting costs. Everyone affected deserves to know why this seemingly preventable failure occurred. Derek Mackay must listen to Alex Rowley and come clean and it is the job of Scottish Labour to make sure this happens.

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61 thoughts on “Derek Mackay must listen to Alex Rowley and come clean

  1. And once again a far better and more accurate explanation can be found here.

    [copy and paste from Wings Over Scotland removed]

    Editor’s note: don’t do this.

        1. John,
          my article is simply a call for the SNP Gov to publish any documents it holds in relation to the maintenance and operation of the Forth Road Bridge. Surely you don’t oppose that?

          1. Why don’t you ask your Labour colleague Ms Hinds. After all, she and the other Labour councillors who served on FETA will be only too glad to blow the whistle on the SNP and Mackay in particular.

            It will also cost far less than the constant calls for searching out old documents, screams for public inquiries etc. Better still, why not simply look at STV’s Evening News from a few days ago and listen to what the Joint convener of FETA in 2010 has to say about why FETA postponed a major refurbishment project back in 2010.

          2. Why not apply to Transport Scotland for them? And if that’s all you want then why all the bare faced lies in the article?

  2. Editor’s note: was there a part of “don’t do this” that you didn’t understand, Mike?

      1. Declining to publish on this site material copied and pasted from a publicly accessible site is not censorship, Mike. If folk want to read Wings’ laughably biased guff they can find it easily enough.

        1. Did you not regularly post links to and copy and paste comments in the Scotsman and Herald Duncan?

        2. “…laughably biased guff”

          Bearing in mind ‘where’ we are this has to be irony, right?

  3. Yes you did!. You commented regularly as Duncan from Edinburgh. You would link directly to articles and other websites. You cut an pasted quotes from various websites.

    1. I’ve never commented anywhere as “Duncan from Edinburgh”. Good grief. Is this all a bitter, personal grudge match to you? Away and find a better hobby.

  4. This article is horrible, misleading tosh of the sort that is sadly now synonymous with the Scottish Labour Party.

    When is it going to learn that deriding Scotland’s institutions is not ‘holding the SNP to account’? Hospitals, schools, police, transport; nothing is safe from unwarranted savaging in order to score crass political points. And people are generally smart enough to know that
    a) the picture painted of a country that is basically shit and facing the abyss is simply not reflective of their lived experience
    b) The SNP are not responsible for every action taken within these bodies

    It is all very well for you to ban the Wings article on your site. But it is the definitive piece on this affair. Maybe Scott Arthur could go through it and highlight where it is factually wrong. I know he has had an initial look and managed to highlight a small error of no consequence.

    I honestly despair at how dreadful Labour actually are. Ken McIntosh is my MSP, a decent fella respected in the community, but I cannot bear to see his face at my door in the build up to May.I will have to tell him what his party represents to me. I suspect this will be a recurring situation the length and breadth of the country.

    1. Davie,
      You start by saying my article is “horrible, misleading tosh”, but you don’t evidence that in any way. I am sitting here wondering why that is…

      1. Possibly because this is yet another fact free article accusing the SG of something but not actually being too specific and then calling for the inevitable release of documents, a public inquiry etc. etc.

        The release of documents you refer too were actually answered by Campbell in WoS. Rather than simply ignoring it it might be worthwhile if you or Mr. Hotherstall read it and point out where it is wrong.

        1. FACT: The SNP government made substantial cuts to FETA’s budget.
          FACT: Derek Mackay confirmed on BBC radio that the work cancelled in 2010 would have seen the failed component replaced.
          FACT: FETA had real concerns about the “truss end links” and these concerns were communicated to the Scottish Government.

          1. First “fact”: FETA member Councillor Ian Chisholm “I was a FETA Board member and we were never refused any funding for any project the Board deemed necessary….”

            Second “fact”: The work cancelled in 2010 was nothing to do with the present problem which was not known about then. There was, therefore, no culpability on those who cancelled the work. FETA, chaired by Lesley Hinds, I think, rescoped the work.

            Third “fact”:The restriction was on loads over 150 tonnes. “A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “There is nothing to suggest that the restriction on exceptionally large abnormal loads has anything to do with the current situation. Restrictions on loads of this type have little impact as there are very few movements of this size and they are agreed in conjunction with Transport Scotland, local authorities and Police Scotland who escort such loads. The defect which has resulted in the closure of the Forth Road Bridge was identified in the last few weeks. It was unexpected and not predicted by previous analysis that was carried out by Forth Estuary Transport Authority. The work that was being considered in 2010 was prompted by concern about another part of the truss end link, not the part that is now cracked.”

            Glad to be of service in clearing up Labour Hame’s confusion.

          2. Fact The Scottish Government didn’t cut the FETA funding they gave it to Transport Scotland who were taking over from FETA.

            Fact That is a bare faced lie. Again ref the Wings article to see the truth.

            Fact Another stupid bare faced lie again ref the Wings article to read the truth.

            You banned wings because its articles actually provide indisputable evidence to all its claims as they have done with their forth bridge article.

            Utterly despicable Duncan but no more than your usual trade mark.

      2. All of these comments are disingenuous and misleading. You know it. I know it. I am not going to delve into each one stating why as I’m simply too busy at work:

        This was followed by an admission from Derek Mackay that work cancelled in 2010 would have seen the failed component replaced – this contradicted advice he had previously given to parliament.
        These showed that FETA had real concerns about the “truss end links” and that they were communicated to the Scottish Government.
        Bizarrely, in response Derek Mackay accused Alex Rowley of “deliberately misinterpreting the facts” for asking for all the facts to be placed in the public domain.
        Everyone affected deserves to know why this seemingly preventable failure occurred.

          1. Scott

            I have tried to be magnanimous in general on this site during my rare forays. I have on occasion tried to highlight where Labour are going badly wrong as like many I just do not think it healthy to have such a negative force in Scottish Politics.

            So, I advised Duncan that Labour had lost the public and voluntary sector badly in Glasgow and why this was the case prior to the GE. He responded with some glib arguments about how I had initiated the conversation rather than dealing with the points or considering I was speaking from a position of experience. At the same time he was ‘confident’ of a Labour fightback.

            I advised him that McTernan and MacDougal were abysmal appointments that meant Labour had no chance of any recovery in 2015. He responded by telling me (and I quote) that they were ‘Labour heroes’.

            I have advised you that your silly piece is exactly the sort of snide that people find such a turn off about your party. You insult us both by asking that I waste my time explaining why – when we both know.

            And you repeatedly refuse to address the points of many contributers that there is an article available completely debunking your, and Labour’s, position.

            I know the likes of you and Dunc think you are scoring victories with the semantics and daftboyness. But all the evidence points otherwise. You are being totally counterproductive. I’ve given up trying.

          2. Magnanimous! 🙂 You and I must have different definitions of the word. Your first comment branded the site absurd and insulted me personally. You’re about as magnanimous as Wings, who you clearly think is the purveyor of wisdom. You should stick to commenting on his little echo chamber. You’re well suited.

            Oh, and you misquoted me. Not unusual from the morally certain brigade. I’m sure you think you’re superior to me and Labour in every way. Your disdain drips from every word. So please, don’t bother yourself commenting on here again. It’s obviously beneath you. Bye, Davie.

          3. Dear Duncan

            Allow me one last response. As per usual you have chosen not to address the points I raise.

            I have qualified that my input involves “general” magnanimity. On occasion I may have been a little direct however this is a result of exasperation and contains no malice or abuse.

            You cannot deny the comments I have highlighted and the points raised. I have repeatedly given you sound feedback that looks prescient given time.

            As for misquoting you…..I wrote:

            McTernan and MacDougal were abysmal appointments that meant Labour had no chance of any recovery in 2015. He responded by telling me (and I quote) that they were ‘Labour heroes’.

            your ACTUAL words were

            Honest answer, Davie? Blair McDougall is a Labour hero, and John McTernan is a brilliant Labour strategist. I’m glad they are on our team.

            Given I was writing from memory of a conversation seven months ago I think I am being upfront and fair about what was said.

  5. Mr.Hothersall you do nothing to help Labour by sticking your fingers in your ears while wearing a blindfold. Your protestations regarding the facts is pathetic.

  6. I think the main conclusion of any public enquiry will be that the new bridge should have been built years ago instead of the tram project.

  7. Oh dear, where to start.

    “This was followed by an admission from Derek Mackay that work cancelled in 2010 would have seen the failed component replaced”. The only trouble being is that in 2010 this component was not a “failed component” and there was no evidence at that time that it would fail. Is Scott saying that there was specfic advice to close the bridge and replace the now-damaged part? Of course he’s not!

    And, of course, Derek MacKay has not “blamed” FETA nor anybody else but simply tried to point out that FETA was the body responsible for the relevant decision-making at this time. As former board member Ian Chisholm points out: “ I was a FETA Board member and we were never refused any funding for any project the Board deemed necessary on the advice of our excellent Bridgemaster. Each major project was costed and tendered for and agreed to. We were always conscious that closure was a last option and one of the reasons we rejected proposals to run new cables alongside the existing ones which would have meant long term closure. The FRB was built to a design specification of the late 50s when no one could conceive of the loads she would carry. She is a fine old lady but showing her age…..ultimately she would be like hms Victory….renewed bit by bit until there was no original left. It was very perceptive of Alex Salmond to commission a new crossing . The best solution was arrived at and the old lady will be repaired and retired to a lighter load of a public transport corridor. “

    And, of course, he is right. Everyone and his dog is an expert now but where were all these politicians between 2010 and now? Which Scottish Labour, Tory or Lib Dem MSP (or on-line blogger) was warning a complacent nation that a cracked truss-end link was imminent ? Where were the dire warnings from structural engineers warning that such a crack was likely to happen before the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing?

    Of course there were none and although everyone was aware that the Forth Road Bridge was old and working under stresses it wasn’t designed to carry, nobody was saying then that the SNP government was taking a massive risk and that an unscheduled closure due to safety concerns was about to happen.

    I could go on about the Labour politicians who were arguing, even quite recently, that the new bridge was unnecessary but for those of you who would like to study the debate around the new bridge in detail here is an interesting and instructive link. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2009-01-15.14087.0#g14087.3
    In the above record, few MSPs touch on the general subject of the safety of the old suspension bridge and there is little discussion of the need for safety checks but rather the need for urgency in getting the new bridge built so that work can begin on the old one. You should note the contribution from Helen Eadie who says this: “Replacing the existing cables would be a significant engineering project. Of course, it could be done, but because of potential costs and safety considerations the most likely scenario would be complete closure of the bridge so that the main cables could be replaced. That could not happen until the new crossing was fully operational—in other words, until 2016—and would mean that the public transport or high-occupancy vehicle routes that are planned for the current bridge would also have to be put on hold.” Helen is basically saying that closure of the bridge should be avoided at all costs and other MSPs make similar comments.

    Politicians can only go with the advice they are given by the experts and there was no structural engineer with any experience of the bridge’s problems who was shouting about imminent, catastrophic structural issues before this one appeared.

    So let’s have no more childish smoke and mirrors from the likes of Scott Arthur. The people of Scotland deserve an adult analysis of this issue.

    1. Stewart,
      You are conflating two separate things:
      1. The need for a new bridge.
      2. The maintenance of the existing bridge (the focus of my blog).

      The current failure adds nothing to the case for the new bridge. It does, however, highlight the need for a fully funded maintenance strategy for the existing bridge.

      Saying FETA “never refused any funding for any project” is irrelevant. It is the Scot Gov cuts to the FETA budget that are THE issue.

      Scott

      1. Utter rot Scott. Not at any point were budget restrictions cited as a reason for not carrying out maintenance work.

        1. Apart from in the minutes of the FETA meeting which decided not to carry out maintenance work.

          FETA minutes

          1. Again a complete distortion and misunderstanding of process. These were non-urgent improvements that could feasibly have been carried out but were deferred owing to a number of reasons. Primary among
            them was that they were not required at that point and that carrying them out would entail the closure of the bridge; leading to the very same disruption that you are trying to make capital out of.

            I’m sure you know this Duncan, for all your faults you’re not think. But I’ll give you a nice easy example:

            The roof on my house is old yet functional. It would be lovely to have a new roof which would be a clear improvement on the roof I have presently. But though I could in theory just about afford it this would simply not be best use of my finances; not only is the roof I have adequate I also don’t want the upheaval of having a team of workmen in my house.

            If in five or six years time I suffer a crack in my roof that starts to leak water I will not consider the decision not to get a new roof as wrong.

            Especially as I was always planning to move house the year after and have my current home demolished.

            That make sense to you?

          2. The minutes state that they were deferred due to budgetary restraints.

            You claimed this had not happened at any point.

            The response you’re looking for, in fact, is “Sorry Duncan I was wrong”. I doubt you can muster it.

      2. Scott, the need for a new bridge and the maintenance of the new bridge are connected fundamentally. The fact that the Labour Party wishes it not to be so does not change that. We do not limit the terms of our discussions to the restrictions placed by Labour Party bloggers working to their own SNPBAD agenda.
        The current problem is an example of why the new bridge is being built. The Forth Road Bridge was not fit to continue carrying the loads it was having to carry. Labour opposed the building of the replacement at the time though the record of the debate I included above showed that some of their politicians were coming round to the SNP’s way of thinking.
        The fact remains that every single issue raised by structural engineers was addressed by FETA and subsequently by Transport Scotland. The issue of this latest specific fracture was not addressed because it was not predicted by anyone. I note that you avoid addressing this issue in your reply. Are you now saying now that there were people who were warning that it was going to happen and who were ignored? Unless you can prove that then FETA, Transport Scotland and the SNP government has no case to answer here.

  8. I agree that a pro-Labour site like this should not have to supply links to pro-independence sites like Wings over Scotland.

    Much better to read direct quotes from Labour politicians like those contained here:

    AN AMBITIOUS plan to build a second Forth Road Bridge in a bid to ease traffic congestion was scrapped by the Government yesterday.
    Scottish Transport Minister Malcolm Chisholm wasted no time in ruling out the new bridge, which the Tory government had wanted to create using the Private Finance Initiative.

    The £150million deal would have been the biggest transport project using PFI in Scotland.
    But the proposal had met with controversy among environmental campaigners and councillors in Edinburgh, who claimed it would lead to a logjam on the city’s roads.
    Mr Chisholm said: `We are reviewing the roads programme but some projects such as this one are so unacceptable we can rule them out right away”

  9. Or this quote from now Lord George Foulkes: “The cabinet secretary has just said something that is absolutely material to the rest of the debate. Last Thursday, at a briefing that I and some other members attended, engineers from his department made it clear that the existing bridge has a future that goes as far as they can see. They did not indicate any threat to or question about the length of time that it will be available.”

  10. “Bizarrely, in response Derek Mackay accused Alex Rowley of “deliberately misinterpreting the facts” for asking for all the facts to be placed in the public domain.”

    Scott I believe what Derek Mackay says as opposed to what Alex Rowley insinuates for the reason being that Alex Roweley has shall I be generous and say at the very least has a penchant for being economical with the truth this was shown when he declared that he would not opt for a regional list seat during the leadership election and did not keep his word.

    Scott as for your insinuation and innuendo it sounds to me like sour grapes as a civil engineer yourself you are at odds with what the engineers who carried out the checks on the bridge said that the faults were unforeseen and probaby happend a couple of weeks ago, so you do your colleagues and profession a disservice by undermining their findings. Instead of harping from the sidelines playing the blame game it would have been interesting to hear your take on the technical aspects and your theory on the bridge faults and then other engineers could take the opportunity afterwards to critique your analysis and findings. I am so glad that the SNP are building a new bridge it’s just a shame that the Scottish Labour section voted against building a new bridge and because of that the polls forecast at the next Scottish elections a SNP tsunami wiping out all the other parties including the Scottish Labour section.

    1. Will,
      Great story, but let’s look at the facts:
      FACT #1 – The SNP have said work previously cancelled would have seen the failed part replaced.
      FACT #2 – Labour backed the construction of the new FRB.

      1. Fact 1 The work wasn’t cancelled it was deferred by FETA to be completed when a second bridge was in place in order to prevent traffic chaos. A bridge replacement initially cancelled and then delayed for years by Labour.

        Fact 2 Stupid bare faced lie when there is ample historical evidence proving the exact opposite.

          1. Not replacing Truss End Links in 2010 resulted in the bridge closing for a few weeks in 2015.

            Replacing the Truss End Links in 2010 would have resulted in the bridge closing for a few weeks …. probably months.

            So, swings and round-abouts really.

            Of course, it could all have been avoided if Labour hadn’t cancelled the initial new bridge project and delayed the start of the current project. Will Labour (or any Labour activist) actually apologise for that?

          2. Fact 1: A question is not a fact. But to answer it, it has probably had a beneficial effect as the whole job planned would have caused a far longer closure than the current one (though no doubt the Labour Party would have blamed the SNP for doing it anyway).
            Fact 2: A link to a BBC article!But I thought….oh, never mind! An acknowledgement by Scott, though, that he has lost the argument. Can I post the Wings over Scotland articles up now, Duncan, they really do explain everything.

          3. Fact 1 The same way it would have worked out had they not deferred the work, with the closure of the bridge and traffic chaos which is why it was deferred in the first place according to FETA.
            FETA deferred the work not the Scottish Government. They made a logical decision based on prudence hoping to get the second bridge opened before major works would be necessary. It would have worked too had Labour not deliberately failed to start the second bridge project and then delayed the SNP Scottish Government by withholding funding as you’ve already been told upteen times.

            Fact 2 The BBC are not an impartial institution when it comes to making reports regarding any involvement with the Scottish Government something you’re all too aware of.

            Starting to act like a troll now Scott.

          4. Oh you’ve excelled yourself this time Mike. So FETA deferred the work purely to avoid traffic chaos? So why do FETA’s own minutes show that they deferred the work due to budget restraints? Here’s that FETA minute again:

            FETA minutes

            Also I must admire the logical loops which let you reach the conclusion that a decision taken in 2010 was undermined by a government that was out of power by 2007. And the idea that the UK Labour government “withheld funding” is as dishonest as they get. The SNP government demanded additional capital funds to be brought forward *purely* in order to create the sort of grievance-driven narrative that you and people like you are so delighted to indulge in now. The reality is the SNP were in power when these decisions were made, and constantly blaming others for their own failures is wearing damn thin. They should for once step up and own this one. They screwed up the maintenance of our bridge.

          5. Duncan, “budget restraints” are what drives EVERY decision. FETA decided the truss end links (everyone seems to be an expert in these things now) would not need replaced before the new bridge was built and subsequently decided to put it on the back burner untill the new bridge was open, giving them money to carry out what they considered more immediate works (such as the dehumidifacation process).

            Had they closed the bridge on 2010 to replace ALL the truss end links, it would have been closed for months, not just the weeks it will take to repair just one of them. And, no doubt, you would have taken great pleasure in hounding the Scot gov over that as well, despite the line you are currently taking.

            And you still fail to acknowledge that had Labour not opposed and then cancelled the new bridge project when in power, it would have been in place for years now and we would not be having this problem.

      2. Scott sorry to say your facts have been checked out and as Mike correctly highlights they are not credible and incorrect it seems that you are in denial and by continuing to propagate untruths you come across as unreasonable and preposterous.

      3. “Labour backed the construction of the new FRB” says Scott. Well, they did eventually come into line with the SNP’s policy but not while they were in power. In fact, when Malcolm Chisholm inherited the proposed programme he couldn’t wait to scrap it: “We are reviewing the roads programme but some projects such as this one are so unacceptable we can rule them out right away.”

        Sarah Boyack said ”Will he join me in condemning the suggestion from David Davidson that a new bridge should be built at the expense of the tram routes in Edinburgh? That is an outrageous suggestion.”

        George Foulkes said: “The cabinet secretary has just said something that is absolutely material to the rest of the debate. Last Thursday, at a briefing that I and some other members attended, engineers from his department made it clear that the existing bridge has a future that goes as far as they can see. They did not indicate any threat to or question about the length of time that it will be available.”

      4. “Labour backed the construction of the new FRB”

        “AN AMBITIOUS plan to build a second Forth Road Bridge in a bid to ease traffic congestion was scrapped bythe Government yesterday.
        Scottish Transport Minister Malcolm Chisholm wasted no time in ruling out the new bridge, which the Tory government had wanted to create using the Private Finance Initiative.”


        However, chief secretary to the treasury Yvette Cooper replied to Swinney request yesterday by saying this was not a “credible option” and has suggested alternatives such as building up a big underspend or using a public private partnership (PPP).

        “However, chief secretary to the treasury Yvette Cooper replied to Swinney request yesterday by saying this was not a “credible option” and has suggested alternatives such as building up a big underspend or using a public private partnership (PPP).”

        “Will he join me in condemning the suggestion from David Davidson that a new bridge should be built at the expense of the tram routes in Edinburgh? That is an outrageous suggestion.” – Sarah Boyack.

        “Mr. Darling: Do the Government still want to proceed with the building of a second Forth road bridge, which would devastate the constituency that the Minister seeks to represent at the next election? Have the Government changed their tack? Do they now accept that there needs to be a co-ordinated public transport strategy to deal with the transport needs of Edinburgh and south-east Scotland? Will the Minister make the Government’s position clear so that we know whether they want to build this ridiculous bridge?”

        Do you want me to hunt out any more?

  11. Or this from Sarah Boyack…..”Will he join me in condemning the suggestion from David Davidson that a new bridge should be built at the expense of the tram routes in Edinburgh? That is an outrageous suggestion.”

  12. In answer to Duncans last question to me.

    “The convenor of the Forth Road Bridge authority, which postponed major repairs six years ago, has claimed work would have gone ahead if it had been judged essential at the time.”

    “Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Martin told STV News they were operating under financial constraints imposed by the Scottish Government, but he did not believe the wrong decision was made.”

    “Martin said “I feel that we made the right decision. A new bridge was being built and the repairs would have caused huge inconvenience.”

    And still at the heart of it all is the decision by Labour to first cancel the new crossing and then to continue to oppose funding a new crossing during their term in office added to the fact that they delayed the project further by refusing to release the funding to the Scottish Government and instead insisted they use the obscene PFI method of funding which would have inflated the costs exponentially and left it in the hands of private ownership.

    You can continue to lie your arse off till the cows come home Duncan but the facts are a matter of historical record. The crises is a direct result of past Labour policy and decision making and that is undeniable without bare face lying.

  13. “Also I must admire the logical loops which let you reach the conclusion that a decision taken in 2010 was undermined by a government that was out of power by 2007. And the idea that the UK Labour”

    Except they weren’t out of power in Westminster allowing them to withhold the necessary funding for the project.

    But again you knew that fact. You’re deliberately trolling your own website.

    1. You cut off the quote from me just at the point that I addressed your false assertion that UK Labour “withheld funding”; and then you repeated your false assertion.

      I don’t know what this is, but it isn’t honest debate. You come here simply to spew Wings half-truths. I’m sure readers recognise them as such. Enough now.

      1. I’m quoting STV news not Wings Duncan. labour in Westminster refused to provide any funding for the bridge and instead prompted the Scottish Government to use PFI. That’s not a half truth that is a historical FACT.
        And that was after cancelling the previous Conservative Governments proposals to build a second road crossing in the Firth.
        The Scottish branch of the Labour party had from 1999 to 2003 to come up with a second bridge but deliberately failed to do so and instead came up with the Edinburgh tram fiasco. Something I distinctly remembering you supporting at the time as well.

        You are nothing but deceitful and corrupt. A fitting member of a deceitful and corrupt political sham of a party.

  14. Labour BACKED the bridge?
    “Will he join me in condemning the suggestion from David Davidson that a new bridge should be built at the expense of the tram routes in Edinburgh? That is an outrageous suggestion.” Sarah Boyack
    AN AMBITIOUS plan to build a second Forth Road Bridge in a bid to ease traffic congestion was scrapped by the Government yesterday.
    Scottish Transport Minister Malcolm Chisholm wasted no time in ruling out the new bridge, which the Tory government had wanted to create using the Private Finance Initiative.

    The [pounds sterling]150million deal would have been the biggest transport project using PFI in Scotland.

    But the proposal had met with controversy among environmental campaigners and councillors in Edinburgh, who claimed it would lead to a logjam on the city’s roads.

    Mr Chisholm said: `We are reviewing the roads programme but some projects such as this one are so unacceptable we can rule them out right away. …”
    “Mr. Darling: Do the Government still want to proceed with the building of a second Forth road bridge, which would devastate the constituency that the Minister seeks to represent at the next election? Have the Government changed their tack? Do they now accept that there needs to be a co-ordinated public transport strategy to deal with the transport needs of Edinburgh and south-east Scotland? Will the Minister make the Government’s position clear so that we know whether they want to build this ridiculous bridge?”
    God help us if we ever have to rely on that kind of “backing”.

  15. That was a result and a half, a complete knockout on D Hothersal & S Arthur, it was fun to read.

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