‘Give more locals the chance to do historic walk across Queensferry Crossing’

An online petition has been launched in a bid to extend the period available for walking over the bridge.
An online petition has been launched in a bid to extend the period available for walking over the bridge.

A Markinch woman has started an online petition in protest at a ballot held to give people the chance to walk across the new Queensferry Crossing.

More than 226,000 people signed up for the ballot in the hope of being one of the 50,000 people who heard this week if they had been lucky enough to win a spot.

However, Christine Dewar claims the ballot was inefficient and the planned opening period for the historic walk across the traffic-only new £1.35 billion bridge should be longer to give everyone in the neighbouring communities the chance.

She wants there to be at least four or five full days to allow freedom to walk the bridge.

Now she’s started an online petition which has already attracted hundreds of supporters.

“The Scottish Government has spent a huge amount of funds on this and it seems fair that the population, particularly of Fife and Lothians, should have an open opportunity to walk over this beautiful structure to view these bridges,” she maintains.

Organisers of the ballot have confirmed that 51 per cent of those who applied for tickets came from communities neighbouring the crossing, but Christine says this is unfair on those who were unsuccessful.

The petition’s supporters include many from locals who missed out on the ballot.

“Having watched the bridge during its construction, I am really disappointed that, despite living in Fife, I will not be able to give my children the once in a lifetime opportunity to walk across this beautiful structure,” wrote Fiona Allan, of Methil.

“As a family of five we were not allowed to apply to the ballot as a family unit (as it was limited to a max of 4 people per application).

“This has resulted in my husband (who had to apply individually) being accepted and me and my three kids (on a separate application) being rejected. This should be a family experience!

“I cannot see the harm in extending the walking time by a few days to give more people the chance to experience this opportunity.”

“Ballot should not have been held in the first place,” said Tom Turbull, who describes himself as a local in exile in Cheltenham and who walked the Road Bridge in 1964 on its official opening and also climbed the south tower in 2014.

“I guess I have been luckier than most but doesn’t stop the disappointment of not being able to do the Queensferry Crossing.”

Lorna Siddell, of Burntisland, wrote: “My children and I were so excited to have this opportunity and really totally devastated, especially when some of their friends have been successful. We have waited so long for this...why can’t they leave it closed a few more days to allow all to cross who entered the ballot?”