One of Scotland's architectural marvels may need to be demolished due to soaring maintenance costs, an MSP has claimed.
The bridge of one of Scotland's architectural wonders
Labour's Helen Eadie said there had been an "incredible" increase in the cost of maintenance on the Forth Rail Bridge.
The Dunfermline East MSP insisted she wanted to see the 113-year old structure
remain but claimed it had suffered under a "travesty of mismanagement".
Bridge owners Network Rail said it had no plans to dismantle the iconic bridge,
which it claimed costs £10m a year to maintain.
Regardless of cost
In a letter to enterprise minister Iain Gray, Ms Eadie said: "Clearly this
bridge is virtually a national monument and a testament to the engineers and
workers who built this splendid structure and it is without doubt one of the
Great Wonders of the World.
"Perhaps it should be preserved in the same way that the other Great Wonders
of the World have been preserved regardless of the cost.
"However, maybe too, people need to at the very least consider the
"If costs are going to increase in an incredible way then safety has to be
paramount and replacing that great structure has to at least be debated."
Helen Eadie: Think the unthinkable
Ms Eadie also said the bridge has caused problems for local
She said: "People must examine all the circumstances around this bridge
and I want them to arrive at a real commitment to the bridge.
"But over the time I've been serving as a member for this constituency it
hasn't been properly maintained.
"I've got people living under the bridge, people who have had bits falling
off that bridge.
"I'm talking about the health and safety of my constituents."
Ms Eadie said a new combined road and rail bridge nearby could be built to
A Network Rail spokeswoman dismissed the prospect of the bridge being taken
She said: "We are looking at maintaining the bridge as it stands.
"Dismantling it is not something that is being considered from our point of
Painting and repair
But Network Rail said it would be "interested" if it was approached about a
More than £10m is being invested in painting and repair work on the
bridge this year, the spokeswoman added.
Opened in 1890, the cantilever bridge crosses the River Forth between South
Queensferry and North Queensferry.
It still carries the east coast mainline railway north from Edinburgh to Perth