Resource Intensity of Mobility – Crossing the Forth

 The clip below from the Scotsman is hardly a triumph for systems thinking about keeping ahead of the oil curve but it is a reasonable decision, none the less. The so called, demand destruction for oil is illusory, still being forecast at 30 billion barrels a year.

This gives, at most, 30 years supply (see oil curve page) being confirmed by Chevron in the The Economist’s ‘World in 2009’ and will prevent traffic on the bridge at current, never mind growing levels.

A systems thinking approach would look to smart ways of reducing the ‘resource intensity of mobility’ by transferring, discretionary, short distance and local travel to the rail bridge, buying time to see if a second road bridge is even necessary.

As King Canute proved, you cannot prevent the future arriving


The decision to retain the existing road bridge as a public-transport crossing and scale down plans for a new structure took opposition MSPs and transport experts by surprise when it was announced yesterday.

The new bridge will have only two lanes in each direction with a hard shoulder, rather than three. The approach roads will be dual carriageways instead of motorways. This, ministers say, will cut the cost from an expected £4 billion to between £1.7 billion and £2.3 billion.

But it is also likely to mean an explosion in public transport, as bus operators realise they will have the old bridge all to themselves – at least until ministers get round to adding trams or a light rail system, which is likely to take many years to sort out.

By cutting back on the size and scale of the new crossing, ministers are also likely to face the prospect of the new bridge operating at full capacity as soon as it opens in 2016.

Sources close to Alex Salmond, the First Minister, admitted last night that the new preferred option was something of a “credit crunch” decision.

An insider said: “Finances are tight now. It does reflect that. But it also reflects the new information that the old bridge is not deteriorating as fast as we had feared.”

Ministers now believe that, by taking most heavy traffic off the existing bridge, they can extend its lifespan to the full 120 years that it was meant to last when it was built in the early 1960s.


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