New Forth crossing from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh raised in city’s transport blueprint

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Plans for a ferry crossing from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh could be back on the table.

It has been revealed in a new public transport plan presented to councillors in the capital.

The blueprint is due to be published in December as part of the city's minority Labour administration’s bid to achieve its net zero targets by 2030, and prioritise public transport.

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And while much of it is focussed on a new tram line and bus lanes, the ferry link will raise interest this side of the Forth.

The 2007 hovercraft trial from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh (Pic: TSPL)The 2007 hovercraft trial from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh (Pic: TSPL)
The 2007 hovercraft trial from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh (Pic: TSPL)

It is 15 years since the idea of a hovercraft was first put forward as a key transport link between the city and the Kingdom.

Stagecoach boss Brian Soutar went as far as staging a trial in 2007 from Seafield in Kirkcaldy across to Portobello which drew huge numbers of passengers.

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Thousands of passengers boarded the 22 super fast crossings over a fortnight. The journey took less than 20 minutes.

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Councillor Scott ArthurCouncillor Scott Arthur
Councillor Scott Arthur

But it never got off the ground, and intermittent efforts to revisit the idea have all stalled.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Edinburgh’s transport convener, said the extension of the city’s trams to Newhaven had sparked renewed interest in links across the Forth.

He said: “There have been technical discussions inside the council about this, and at the political level I'm in the process of setting up a meeting with Fife Council early next month to look at how we could take this forward."

He added: "This is about taking some of those cars off the road and getting them to use what would essentially be public transport and connecting with the tramline to get into Edinburgh."

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For a ferry to get off the ground it would need an operator, and a change of mindset from councillors in Edinburgh.

While the original plan had the wholehearted backing of councillors in Kirkcaldy - who saw the benefits it would bring to the town and as a gateway to the the Kingdom - their city counterparts killed it off when they refused permission for a landing ramp in Portobello in 2011.

Three years later, Forthfast was set up, but it came to nothing.