Firth of Forth

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Satellite photo of the Firth and the surrounding area
Map of the Firth
The Ro-Pax ferry Blue Star 1 passing under the Forth Bridge in the Firth, en route from Rosyth to Zeebrugge.

The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth. It flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south.

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.

The Kincardine Bridge and the famous Forth Road Bridge and Forth Rail Bridge carry traffic across the Firth. A third crossing, 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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