Iconic Falkirk bridge project in peril over costs


Falkirk Council has rendered the previous plans as “unaffordable” due to rising construction costs. 

Falkirk bridge plans.
Credit: Falkirk Council.

Original plans for the improvement project include a four-platform aerial walkway for pedestrians over the A9 and A904 Westfield roundabout. 

Falkirk Council partnered with engineering consultancy WSP and Ethos Design + Architecture (EDA) to design these plans. 

Balfour Beatty is the principal contractor and is working with WSP’s design team. 

Plans were first approved in 2021, and the scheme is expected to be delivered by 2024. 

The council has now proposed revised plans due to the rise in construction costs, according to Project Scotland.

Inside the scheme  

The bridge initially included pedestrian and cycle crossings with traffic signals at an enlarged roundabout. 

The crossings would have a centre span of 80m and four separate 40m backspans. 

This would: 

  • Improve the road and travel network between Falkirk and the M9 and eastwards to Grangemouth.
  • Provide access to four corners of the junction; the Falkirk FC stadium, Helix Park (home of the Kelpies), a new college campus and new development plots.

Revised plans look to replace the walkway with pedestrian/cycle paths separated from the traffic and ground-level crossings.

Benefits to this change include: 

  • The same active travel and economic gains as previous plans. 
  • Lower costs. 
  • Increased environmental benefits

Councillors will meet on 9 May to consider progressing with the new plans.


The council aims to retain £14 million from the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) for the revised plans. 

In 2021, the council secured £20 million from the LUF. 

The scheme is also being funded by the council’s £95 million Tax Incremental Finance Infrastructure (TIF) programme

The 25-year programme will be delivered across three phases across Falkirk and Grangemouth. 

It aims to improve the links between the M9 and industrial areas, providing 400,000 sqm of new business space. 

Social value: The council expects the programme to create an additional 4,000 jobs and affordable and open-market housing

“The adapted project would allow Falkirk Council to deliver the vital strategic transport intervention at A9/A904 Westfield,” said Malcolm Bennie, director of place services at the council. 

It would achieve all the original vehicle and sustainable transport outcomes, reduce the carbon footprint of the overall project, and potentially be more supported by the community.”

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