More than 226,000 seek Queensferry Crossing walk tickets
More than 226,000 people have applied for the 50,000 free tickets to walk across the new Queensferry Crossing, Transport Scotland announced today.
A total of 82,198 separate entries, for up to four tickets, were received when the ballot closed at noon yesterday.
The Scottish Government agency said a random selection process to choose the 50,000 winners was underway.
Some have tweeted to say they have already been successful, while others have been told they have been unlucky, suggesting applicants have been informed of the results.
Applications averaged three tickets each, with those successful getting all the tickets they applied for.
Those selected must confirm within 48 hours that they plan to take part in the "Queensferry Crossing Experience" walks on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.
However, officials have told The Scotsman they expect a drop-out rate of up to 40 per cent, meaning many of those initially unsuccessful could yet get tickets.
That is partly because the tickets will be issued for non-changeable time slots.
Transport Scotland said the re-allocation process was expected to be completed by next Thursday.
One unsuccessful applicant was told: "You have been added to our waiting list, therefore should any spaces become available you will receive an email notification to advise.
"Waiting list spaces are allocated using the same randomised process as the ballot selection."
The agency, which in charge of the Â£1.35 billion crossing, said 97 per cent of applicants had Scottish addresses.
Just over half - 51 per cent - were from postcodes neighbouring the bridge.
Some 5,180 people have entered from addresses elsewhere in the UK and 437 from the rest of the world, including the United States, India and one single entrant from Slovakia.
The agency added that "preparations for a further official opening event are being made and will be announced when finalised".
The Scotsman revealed last week that the Queen is expected to officially open the bridge on Monday 4 September - the 53rd anniversary of her opening the Forth Road Bridge, which it will replace.
Economy secretary Keith Brown said: “We’re delighted with the response to the Queensferry Crossing Experience - it really proves just how strongly the new bridge has captured the imagination of the public in the past decade of consultation, development and construction.
“The process to randomly select the lucky 50,000 is now underway and we would ask everyone who has entered to keep their eyes on their email inboxes as, if selected, you only have 48 hours to confirm your attendance.
“It is also pleasing to see the large amount of ballot entries hailing from local postcodes, which should ensure local communities are well represented over the weekend.
“To have a walking event of this scale is fantastic for all those successful in the ballot, providing a close-up view of the impressive new crossing and a unique way for people to be physically active.”