Friday, 11 December 2015

The SNP's big self inflicted Forth Road Bridge disaster.

12 June 2016   More Lies again coming out from the SNP

EDINBURGH Western Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said he was told as long ago as January that the Queensferry Crossing was running behind schedule.
He made the claim during First Minister’s Questions as he challenged Nicola Sturgeon over the Scottish Government’s insistence that it found out only last week that bad weather meant the £1.35 billion bridge across the Forth would not be completed by the end of the year as scheduled.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Many people will find it hard to understand why 25 days lost to adverse weather can lead to a five-month delay in opening the crossing..."

MINISTERS were yesterday accused of keeping a six-month delay to the new £1.4billion Forth road bridge under wraps until after the election.

Opposition MSPs rounded on Economy Secretary Keith Brown after he revealed the Queensferry Crossing will now not open until May 2017.Engineers had hoped to complete the bridge by December 2016 but Mr Brown blamed "adverse weather conditions" for hitting construction.He told MSPs that 25 days were lost over April and May due to high winds and the "contractors' contingency time has been used up".
Work was also halted in April when a 60-year-old worker was killed on the site. Mr Brown was forced to deny claims contractors were gagged from speaking out on the delays because of confidentiality agreements before last month's poll.
Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, whose Edinburgh Western constituency includes the southern end of the bridge, said the project was in "abject distress".Hitting out at SNP cabinet member he said: "Much about this statement now suggests a project in abject distress.
"How on earth does 25 days lost to weather in April and May equate to an 180-day delay in opening the bridge?"Does he take us for fools? Does he now expect parliament to believe that the first ministers learned of this was just, conveniently, days after the Scottish election?"
Mr Cole-Hamilton demanded ministers publish all correspondence relating to the delay. Labour deputy Alex Rowley said the delay "will be greeted with great disappointment in Fife and beyond".He added it was "important that ministers do not announce unrealistic deadlines" and also called for "full transparency".
Tory MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife Murdo Fraser sought assurances that the existing Forth Road Bridge will not face another "catastrophic closure", following last December's shutdown caused by a crack.
Mr Fraser added: "Is it true that contractors working on this new bridge were aware of the delay some weeks ago and were asked to sign confidentiality agreements not to disclose this information until after the Scottish Parliament elections on May 5?"
Read more on this Link here  
What is clear is that the SNP DOES take people for fools, this is clearly another example of the SNP being deceitful and hiding known facts from the electorate until after the Holyrood elections were past because announcing this earlier would have been unfavourable to them. The SNP is no doubt the most deceitful political party in whole UK politics. 
  Latest Update 27 Jan 2016 :
"For weeks the SNP government in Edinburgh told us that cuts to the maintenance budget of the Forth Road Bridge had nothing to do with the bridge's eventual closure.
"The reality is the SNP made short-sighted cuts to essential maintenance budgets which meant that an essential piece of infrastructure was shut down at a crucial time for the Scottish economy."

Read more by clicking here 

Salmond was warned eight years ago of stuctural issues with the Forth Road Bridge but Sturgeon as SNP Infrastructure Minister still personally cut its maintenance budget by 58% , the bridge failure was therefor a failure just waiting to happen because of the SNP's derliction of duty in maintaining the Bridge to proper safety standards.
The link below shows a video of both Sturgeon being challenged on the FRB issue by Andrew Marr and the previous FRB Senior Engineer at the Bridge failure enquiry recently, pay attention to what the body language and technical knowledge (or lack of it ) on the issue should be telling you.

It's not true to say "the fault could not have been foreseen", which of course is only "technically"  obvious unless continuous daily inspections were in place which they were not, however " the whole area of steelwork that included the part where the fault existed was highlighted "At risk" and was on the list for full replacement as long ago as 2009, it was the fact that Sturgeon herself signed off the 58% cut in the maintenance budget meant that all the work programmed to be done more than 5-7 years ago was stopped and only the higher priority jobs on the maintenance list were attended to ie the cable end anchors and the bridge bearings...all the rest of the work was unduly delayed due to Sturgeon herself  as "Infrastucture Minister" signing off the budget cut . If the previous identified "urgent" work had not been delayed needlessly for 7 years due to Sturgeon's own budget cut the fault would not have happened because the whole area would have been already replaced. To claim otherwise is the usual SNP spin to avoid taking any responsibility. More deceit.
Most Scots by now are aware of the bad news of the Forth Road Bridge closure but the real physical pain will only truly be experienced by those unlucky Commuters and Business's whose drivers are now having to sit in long tedious queues of traffic and take long multi mile detours leading to frustration, possible health stress and unavoidable extra costs. The costs of this extra travel will have to be borne by individuals themselves and to the profits of businesses already having to operate  in difficult competitive market conditions. Families too will be directly affected by this  in other ways, partners particularly ones with young children will see less of  their loved ones because of them having to leave earlier in the mornings to get to work in time and also get Home much later after work in the dark evenings. Some working parents with younger children might not actually be at Home now to see their children get up in the morning for school or be Home in time to see them before they get put to bed in the evening throughout the whole working week.

If you know people caught up in this ..ask them how bad the experience is, how bad the queues are, how much its costing them and in what ways its affecting their family lives....and then tell others that don't yet know, because as a nation thats supposed to care about others we truly all need to understand how people are being affected by this.

It's obvious to say that this is hardly a good experience for anyone directly involved and yet  the whole sorry event should  never ever have  happened, bridge's are inanimate objects of mechanical engineering that knowingly require regular safety inspections and preventitive maintenance. The failure of any Government to ensure the right procedures and funds to keep a bridge in safe and operational order is only its own responsibility, even if contractors have been employed to oversee the work involved it is still only the Governments responsibility when things go wrong as they themselves are ultimately for both overseeing the contractors work is to a correct standard and that funds for that work are made available. There are no excuses from this responsibility. None.

In this case though Nicola Sturgeon herself was Infrastructure Minister when Finance Minister John Swinney cut the Forth Road Bridges maintenance budget, this cut in money available for  repairs meant that the Bridges maintenance contractors had then no choice but to prioritise which repairs were the most urgent from their already quite large identified list, do them first and for the other already identified issues to  do lesser amounts of remedial work using the lower amount of money left available to them.  Not having the full amount of funds required to do all the strengthening work work highlighted by bridge inspections in the timescales preferred by bridge engineers is what caused this failure to happen. Derek Mackay the SNP Minister for Transport and Islands has admitted that work that was planned for 2010 which was later cancelled due to budget constraints WOULD have  renewed the whole area of steelwork including the part which has now failed leading to this chaos , the reason for the original reason for wanting to strengthen the whole wider area was that it was ALL identified as being overstressed and required strengthening, but because of shortage of repair funds a lesser amount of work than that originally recommended was undertaken in the interim period.

Listen carefully to what Derek Mackay says in this Interview by clicking here   His attempt at saying this faulty part could not ever have been identified that it was going to fail is at best a half truth only, while its true no-one could ever identify exactly the time and date of exact potential failure the same part HAD been identified as being at risk of failure and of requiring strengthening work previously on a documented memo.

It's therefore untrue of anyone to try to say the area that has now failed is not the responsibility of the Scottish Government , it was the Governments responsibility not to ignore a memo stating that identifed problems not repaired due to budget cuts could lead to chaos..the Infrastructure Minister must have ignored those warnings and chosen to gamble that they would not fail before the new Forth Crossing was completed...but it was a gamble that failed. 

Derek Mackay has now been accused of lying about where the crack has occurred, he also states in this interview that budgets were NOT reduced during the handover from FETA and Transport Scotland.
 click here to read that article     
" Mackay admitted the area where a truss cracked should have been replaced in 2010.
But he had said previously that the fault had not been in the area scheduled for repairs – which were then cancelled.The apparent contradiction came in a radio interview in which Mackay said the 2010 work would have involved “the replacement of that area and much more”.Just 24 hours before, he had told MSPs the shelved maintenance had not been in the area “where the fault has occurred"
  Read Nicola Sturgeons rebbutal of having any responsiblity for the Bridge closure here 
 "Nicola Sturgeon yesterday insisted she doesn’t regret slashing the Forth road bridge’s maintenance budget – despite a memo showing the SNP were warned it could lead to chaos.
The First Minister came under fire at Holyrood over the bridge’s closure, which was caused by a cracked truss end link.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale cited documents from the former bridge operators that revealed the maintenance budget was cut by 58 per cent.
Minutes from a Forth Estuary Transport Authority meeting in 2013 said the cut would mean “a number of capital projects had to be deferred beyond 2015”.
The documents added: “That deferral of part or all of these projects does increase the risk to the long-term structural 
integrity of the bridge.”
Sturgeon was Infrastructure Secretary when the meeting took place.

The revelations came after Transport Minister Derek Mackay admitted that repair works cancelled in 2010 would have replaced the section of the bridge that forced the closure.

Kezia Dugdale said the SNP had made
 short-term decisions that came at the expense of the bridge’s long-term future.She added: “We need a Government who don’t put off essential work in the hope of saving some money. For the First Minister to try to sweep everything under the carpet just won’t wash.”
Sturgeon said: “The work that was being considered in 2010 was prompted by concern about another part of the truss end link, not the part that is now cracked.
“The opposition criticism of the
 Scottish Government appears to be that five years ago, a body that took decisions independently of the
Scottish Government decided not to fix a part of the bridge that was not broken, a part that only became broken in the last few weeks.

A Blog with an excellent  timeline showing when the work required on the Truss Links was originally identified and  the number of times and dates when the work was re-scheduled (with reasons) right up to the date of failure can be found by clicking here 

This is just the latest episode of evidence of a  long series of mistakes on Sturgeons part, not least her majority responsibility (almost 100%) in putting together the now known  False Prospectus SNP White Paper "Scotlands Future" based on fictional Oil revenues and unlikely business growth predictions, an out and out attempt at decieving an elecorate that beleived it to be an honest and true evaluation of Scotland  future...we now know it was no more than wishful thinking on the parts of the Senior SNP politicians desperate to get their way and to hell with the consequences. If there had been a YES vote Scotland would now be facing a ten year potential shortfall of £67 billion in its spending budget..just to put this into perspective it compares with a projected cost of £3.9 billion cut over ten years of Tory imposed Austerity..look at the figures ..there is no comparison and yet the SNP continue to berate the Tories for their "Austerity"policies but keep completely silence on the distruction they themselves nearly imposed on Scotland and Scottish lives. I don't ever think i've come across a more deceitful group of people in my whole life. Nicola Sturgeons own demonstratable issues of being able to make very poor judgements go right back to when she tried to get a twice convicted fraudster leniency from a prision sentence which she nearly resigned over previously and yet she still tries to avoid taking any sort of responsibility when anything goes wrong, a trick she no doubt learnt from her well practised predecessor. See the facts on these two links , notice on one where it states clearly that Sturgeon was almost completely responsible for putting together the False Prospectus White Paper.    also see the effect the False White paper would have had on Scotland made by Sturgeon and company here

Latest News: Engineer raised alarm about the Forth Road Bridge problems 10 months ago