Forth Road Bridge

A Sunday in mid-October and a chill 4 degree start, saw me driving round the A720 City of Edinburgh by-pass heading for Queensferry, a small fishing port nestling below the three bridges that span the Firth of Forth, the Forth Rail Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. My plan was to spend a few hours on the Swifty Zero, starting in Queensferry, crossing over the Forth Road Bridge, exploring North Queensferry and then returning back across the bridge.

With plenty of car parking space at Hawes Pier, that would be the start of my kick scooting journey. Temperatures had risen slightly since leaving the house 40 minutes ago, but only up to a still chilly 8 degrees. So, on with long-sleeved t-shirt, a warm top and a windproof jacket. Gloves and a warm hat finished my attire. I much prefer a layering system for my kick scooting clothing as by the time I start the climb across the bridge, I’d almost certainly be too warm and would need to remove a layer.

My route was through the fishing village of Queensferry then upwards to the bridge itself. On the approach to the bridge, signs seemed to indicate that cyclists and pedestrians should use the western walkway but after using the underpass and carrying the Swifty up some steps it was actually closed, so back again to the east walkway.

The Forth Road Bridge is 1.5 miles across and has a long but gentle rise until the mid-point where it descends down to North Queensferry. When cycling or walking this gentle rise is barely noticeable but when kick scooting, your legs soon notice the gradient. I was just glad that there was little wind today in such as exposed location, some 200 feet above the sea at mid-point. As predicted, by the mid-point I had to remove a layer, stowing it away in the front pannier.

Other than buses, the only traffic allowed these days, with the new Queensferry Crossing being the main route North, the Forth Road Bridge was much quieter than on previous visits when road noise was considerable, and at 9.00am on a Sunday, even foot and cycle traffic was few and far between, with only a handful of either sharing the walkway with me and my Swifty. The sky was overcast but the sun just managed to break through the clouds for a few minutes greatly adding the view. I would have prefered clear blue skies but I can always return another day. Perhaps a night scoot would be an interesting venture as well.

A flight of steps lead down from the bridge deck to the B981 where I was able to use the pavement to get an easy downhill the North Queensferry. Conditions for photography were poor, the light being very grey, almost matching the colours of the road bridges themselves. A quick rest stop at the harbour for a Kit-Kat and drink, then, following a quick explore around the village, it was back across the bridge to Queensferry and onwards home.

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