Independent inquiry needed into FRB closure

An independent inquiry is needed into the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament today, Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser said such a probe was the only sure way of finding out the facts surrounding the high-profile and unprecedented restriction, and to ensure the disruption isn’t repeated in future.

He was responding to a statement in Holyrood by transport minister Derek Mackay, who provided more technical details about the fault, but stopped short of agreeing to an inquiry.

The main link between Edinburgh and Fife has been shut since Friday, and is not expected to reopen until after New Year.

Mr Fraser, who is also the Scottish Conservative finance spokesman, said he also had sympathy with businesses who are calling for compensation as a result of the closure.

Scottish Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser said:

“It hardly needs to be stated how damaging the bridge closure is for the economy of Fife and the east of Scotland more generally.

“And while the efforts of the Scottish Government, its agencies and the transport companies are appreciated, there are still problems and the priority must be resolving these.

“But we also need to have a fully independent inquiry into what went wrong, and that has to report early in the New Year.

“There has been a great deal of speculation that the bridge closure was the result of inadequate maintenance.

“With such an inquiry, we can find out the truth of the matter, and make sure vital lessons are learned for the future.

“In addition, businesses who are losing large sums of money as a result of this are understandably calling for compensation.

“The Scottish Government should detail exactly what plans it has in place to assist these organisations.”