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Treasury rejects new Forth bridge payment plan

The Treasury has rejected the Scottish Government’s application for £2.3bn to fund the new Forth bridge.

Scottish finance secretary John Swinney had asked for special permission from the UK government to pay for the new bridge with cash from future capital budgets.

However, chief secretary to the treasury Yvette Cooper replied to Swinney request yesterday by saying this was not a “credible option” and has suggested alternatives such as building up a big underspend or using a public private partnership (PPP).

An aide to Swinney said that the Scottish Government would “not take no for an answer” in terms of the Treasury failing to support reprofiling Scotland’s capital budget in order to pay for the Bridge over a longer period, and will be taking up the offer of a meeting with the Treasury to discuss Bridge funding as soon as possible.

“The reply from Yvette Cooper has no implications whatever for our commitment to build the Forth Replacement Crossing – which will go ahead as set out in the Strategic Transport Projects Review on budget and on time,” said the aide.

“These plans will deliver best value for money, and the certainty of delivering the replacement crossing by 2016.”

Construction of the proposed replacement crossing of the Firth of Forth is expected to start in 2011 and take 5 ½ years to complete at an estimated cost of £3.2 - £4.2bn (in 2016 prices including VAT).

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