Forth Bridge Experience approved: New centre will allow visitors to climb to top of tower

The Forth Bridge Experience, which will offer visitors the chance to walk up the iconic landmark and take in stunning views across the Forth, has taken a step forward after planning permission for the new attraction was given council approval.

The visitor centre has been approved.
The visitor centre has been approved.

Network Rail plans to welcome members of the public to take guided walks on the iconic structure for the first time.

And permission to create a single-storey reception hub and car park in the development site at South Queensferry has now been approved.

As part of the plans, the design of the reception hub will minimise the impact on the surrounding environment whilst offering visitors stunning views of the Forth Bridge.

It will be used for preparing those heading out on the bridge walk as well as providing an access point to the structure.

Groups of between 12 and 15 people will put on safety harnesses before being led out onto the bridge’s south cantilever, walking up to a viewing point at the top using walkways built into the structure.

Alan Ross, Network Rail Scotland’s director of engineering and asset management, said: “It’s great to see our plans for the Forth Bridge Experience moving forward.

“The team has worked hard to create this exciting design and we’re looking forward to working with the successful contractor to bring these plans to life.”

Network Rail has also begun the process of appointing a main contractor to build the new reception hub and car park for the Forth Bridge Experience, with contractors being invited to tender for the project.

The plans for the new visitor centre and viewing platform have been in the works for a number of years, and it has been claimed that 85,000 people a year could arrive to climb the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The visitor centre is said to be inspired by the Sydney Harbour Bridge experience.

The Forth Bridge is globally recognised as a marvel of engineering, having been opened in 1890 after seven years of construction. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

The latest plans aim to capitalise on opportunities to grow tourism in the area.