Firth of Forth

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The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times.


Geography and economy

Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period.

The river is tidal as far inland as Stirling, but generally it is considered that the inland extent of the firth ends at the Kincardine Bridge.[citation needed]

There are a number of towns which line the shores, as well as the petrochemical complexes at Grangemouth, the commercial docks at Leith, oilrig former construction yards at Methil, the ship-breaking facility at Inverkeithing and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, with numerous other industrial areas including the Forth Bridgehead area[clarification needed], Burntisland, Kirkcaldy, Bo'ness and Leven.

The Kincardine Bridge and the famous Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge carry traffic across the Firth. A third crossing, located next to the Kincardine Bridge, opened in 2008. On 1 October 2008 it was announced that the new bridge would be called the "Clackmannanshire Bridge".[1]

In July 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two week trial between Portobello, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, Fife. The trial of the service (marketed as "Forthfast") was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85%.[2] If a permanent service comes into operation, it could cut congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 870,000 passengers a year.[3]

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