Final Plea For The Clackmannanshire Bridge
A sustained month-long campaign for the Clackmannanshire Bridge came to an end today (Thursday 31st January) as Transport Scotland's public consultation drew to a close.
The Clackmannanshire Council-led campaign ended with a promotional event in Greenfield Park during which members of the public were urged to register a last-minute vote for the Clackmannanshire Bridge. Councillors - including campaign leader Councillor Eddie Carrick - also released dozens of biodegradable Clackmannanshire Bridge balloons to mark the final day of voting.
Yesterday (Wednesday 30th January), Councillor Carrick travelled to the Scottish Parliament where he and Ochil MSP Keith Brown hand delivered over a thousand postcards which were filled in by local people in support of the Clackmannanshire Bridge. They met Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson and took the opportunity to emphasise the strength of feeling in Clackmannanshire for the campaign's aims.
Over the past month, the Council has carried out a comprehensive campaign to have the new upper Forth crossing named the Clackmannanshire Bridge. The campaign coincided with a month-long public consultation period which was launched by Mr Stevenson and began on 19th December. During the consultation, the public were invited to suggest names for the new crossing by registering online or postal votes. The Minister will now decide the new name and announce it later this year.
Councillor Carrick said: "I believe we have a very strong case for the Clackmannanshire Bridge. We're asking the Minister to help us help ourselves by naming the crossing after our beautiful county.
"We will benefit hugely from the crossing and to name it the Clackmannanshire Bridge would really put us on the map and let us show the world our hidden gem.
"I'd like to thank all the campaigners and everyone who has voted for their support. We're just crossing our fingers now that our county gets what it deserves - the Clackmannanshire Bridge."
Mr Brown added: "When - hopefully - this crossing is named after Clackmannanshire, any sceptics will be confounded by the awareness it will spread about the county. We've been the Wee County for such a while that I think it's about time we got the attention we deserved. A higher profile means more business and more tourism - tangible benefits - and an opportunity like this comes along once in a generation.
"Now that we are at the end of the campaign I hope everyone can come together for that one last push that might just make the difference."
During the campaign the Council organised a number of events and promoted the Clackmannanshire Bridge in many ways. These included:
- A tour of Clackmannanshire in a specially hired 'battle bus' when councillors and campaigners took to the streets to gather support for the Clackmannanshire Bridge. The bus stopped at eight venues across the county and took a short tour past the site of the new crossing.
- The weekend shopper scheme when campaigners visited the county's shops and supermarkets to spread the Clackmannanshire Bridge message by handing out voting postcards and allowing the public to vote online.
- The Clackmannanshire Bridge promotional board which was signed by members of the public, councillors, Gordon Banks MP, Keith Brown MSP, the Alexander Brothers, Alloa Athletic and football pundit Alan Hansen among others.
- 2500 Clackmannanshire Bridge Christmas cards which were filled in by the county's primary school pupils and sent to the Transport Minister at Holyrood.
- A booklet featuring pictures of campaign supporters and their reasons for backing the Clackmannanshire Bridge.
- Clackmannanshire Bridge merchandise which included t-shirts, umbrellas, stickers, mugs, balloons and reflective armbands.
- 5000 promotional letters were distributed throughout Clackmannanshire.
- Lobbying letters were sent to the First Minister, Transport Minister, other Council Chief Executives, MPs, MSPs and MEPs explaining the Council's desire to have the crossing named the Clackmannanshire Bridge.
Notes to editors:
- The public consultation period ran from 19th December to 31st January 2008.
- The new Upper Forth Crossing is due to be completed by the end of the year.