QUEENSFERRY Crossing or St Margaret’s Crossing today emerged as the local favourites from the shortlist of names for the new Forth road bridge.
Community leaders claimed two of the five options – Caledonia Bridge and Saltire Crossing – were “too political” and there was little enthusiasm for calling the new bridge the Firth of Forth Crossing.
Members of the public are being asked to vote on what they think the new £1.6 billion crossing should be called.
Terry Airlie, secretary of Queensferry and District Community Council, said the name should have a local connection.
He said: “I would go for Queensferry or St Margaret’s, not any of this Caledonia or Saltire – that to me has too much of a different connotation given the current political climate.”
Firth of Forth Crossing was “too complicated for a bridge”, he added.
Doug Tait, vice-chairman of BRIGS (Bridge Replacement Interests Group South), said: “The crossing is at Queensferry so it makes sense to call it the Queensferry Crossing. I can’t see why you would want to name it after our country’s flag. It’s too much of a political gesture. When they were naming the new Kincardine bridge they didn’t call it the Lion Rampant Bridge.”
He said residents in North and South Queensferry were bearing the brunt of the construction and would bear the brunt of traffic in the future.
“They deserve it to be named after the places they live in. It would be a nice gesture.”
He also argued for it to be called “bridge” rather than “crossing”, saying: “It should be ‘bridge’ because that’s what it is.”
Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart had mixed feelings about the shortlist. He said: “Apart from the distinctly patriotic, flag-waving feel to it, I’m glad to see Queensferry and St Margaret are in there. These are the ones with the greatest local links.
“Firth of Forth Crossing sounds too much like the joke about it being the fifth Forth crossing.
“Caledonia and Saltire are just pandering to the Scottish Nationalists. So as far as I’m concerned there are only two serious suggestions – Queensferry and St Margaret. As to whether it’s ‘crossing’ or ‘bridge’, I would have preferred a tunnel but we’ve had that debate. It’s a bridge, let’s call it a bridge.”
Edinburgh Western SNP MSP Colin Keir said his office had suggested the bridge be named Queen Margaret.
“They are all very valid names,” he said. “St Margaret is good for the historical connection. Queensferry crossing is nice and simple and adds a local element to a national dimension.”
He rejected criticism of the Caledonia and Saltire suggestions. “They’re not political, they’re national. I’m OK with them, but I like the idea of putting a little bit of locality into it.”
KEEP IT SHORT AND TWEET
@GeorgeFoulkes: “They didn’t put my suggestion – the White Elephant – on the short list.”
@splatoutofluck: “Love a bit of Scottish pride and patriotism but some of the names on the shortlist for the new Forth bridge are cringeworthy in the extreme!”
@murdo_fraser: “Caledonia Bridge? Saltire Crossing? If these names made the shortlist I shudder to think what the judges rejected.”
@daveforth1: “Shortlist of names for the new Forth bridge published. Bet everyone ignores it and just calls it the new Forth bridge anyway.”
@sorchasilver: “Wow, the shortlisted names for the new Forth bridge are REALLY BORING.”
@The_Fake_Robert: “Some shocking names in there. If it gets called the Caledonia Bridge I’m leaving.”
@davidjhgardiner: “I see my Third Firth of Forth Bridge suggestion has been overlooked.”