- Part of:
Additional trains and buses put in place ahead of Monday commute.
Additional trains and buses are to be put in place alongside enhanced traffic management measures as part of an integrated travel plan to minimise disruption following the necessary closure of the Forth Road Bridge.
Following a further meeting of the Scottish Government's resilience committee chaired by the First Minister, ministers announced that an integrated travel plan for commuters and businesses would launch on Sunday, including a dedicated website to allow people time to plan their commute on Monday and throughout the closure period.
Additional rolling stock will see new train services put in place by Scotrail between Cowdenbeath and Haymarket that will, when combined with existing services, put an additional 6,500 seats per day into operation, increasing passenger capacity by 40 per cent over the period of the bridge's closure.
That will be supported by more than 30 additional buses from Stagecoach, which will provide thousands of extra seats per day as part of an enhanced park and ride priority service between Fife and Edinburgh, using the Ferrytoll and Halbeath sites.
It was also confirmed that, in partnership with Highways England, road management systems were being used to encourage traffic flowing north into Scotland to use routes on the west of the country where possible to ease congestion.
Transport Scotland also confirmed that mobile road signage units were being deployed on all diversion routes to provide journey time information and to keep traffic flowing on the diversion routes. Transport Scotland will also redeploy source from road operators to ensure that diversion routes remain clear and open for use.
Ahead of rush hour on Monday, ministers also announced that engagement with business groups and local authorities would be stepped up over the course of this week, with a round table to be convened via conference call on Tuesday at which businesses would be encouraged to feed back on the measures put in place in order that they could be refined in the coming days.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:
"We know this will be a very difficult time for commuters, businesses and hauliers and we remain extremely grateful for people's patience while we work on strengthening alternative travel plans and minimise disruption during the closure period.
"Thanks to the hard work of our partners we are able to announce significant additional resources for public transport routes between Fife and Edinburgh. This will include additional rolling stock on the train service that will put an additional 6,500 seats a day into operation. Thanks to Stagecoach, we will also be able to rely on an additional 33 buses, bringing thousands of extra seats into operation.
"We are also grateful to the hard work of Police Scotland who have been working with Transport Scotland to ensure that traffic management systems on the diversion routes are robust and can cope with the additional traffic. To that end we have delivered ten additional portable information units to these routes that will aid traffic management.
"From tomorrow, commuters will be able to access a dedicated website offering detailed information on these updated travel options
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adapt our travel plan as required. While we are doing everything we can to ease the impact on travellers, we would urge people do their bit by considering their travel plans in advance and making any possible contingencies. This could include being more flexible about your work times and locations if possible.
"We also have made contact with the main business organisations in Scotland, local authorities and enterprise areas and are working together to examine the economic and business impact and identify any practical steps that can be taken to mitigate that as much as possible."
Further information on the planned works is available at: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/forth-replacement-crossing/information-road-users