Patrick Harvie MSP addresses the meeting

 AT THE recent ForthRight Alliance public meeting in South Queensferry, SNP Lothians MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville told the audience that the chief engineer of the Forth road bridge, Barry Colford, had denied ever saying he was “highly confident” that dehumidification would arrest cable corrosion on the Forth Road Bridge.

            At the same meeting the chair of the Queensferry & District Community Council Tom Martin told the audience that the Feta press officer, Chris Waite, had confirmed that Feta had a “high degree of confidence” that dehumidification would succeed in halting the corrosion.

            Despite several requests to Ms Somerville and Feta, neither has been able to explain the complete contradiction in these two views.

            The public deserves better. It is not acceptable for member of the Scottish parliament – who is also a member of the transport committee – to refuse to provide an adequate explanation for a perverse and baffling dual-policy. She must now order Feta to issue a statement clarifying:

·      The degree of confidence now held in the dehumidification process

·      If the view has changed since 30 July 2008, when it changed; why; and whether government intervened to change the view

·      If Feta confirms what it recently told the Q&DCC, that has a high degree of confidence in cable drying, then the Cabinet Secretary for Sustainable Development must explain why he does not share this confidence; either he or the chief engineer must be wrong


If Feta confirms that there is a high degree of confidence that  dehumidification will arrest the cable corrosion, then there is no case for building an additional Forth road bridge and it must be cancelled.



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