TRIPS to the top of the Forth Road Bridge will be one of Scotland’s priciest tourist attractions – with tours costing £50 a ticket.
Groups of ten will be able to ascend the bridge’s 156 metre high towers next year.
Tourists will be charged top prices in a bid to keep the cost below
£50 for locals, who will get at least half of the allocated tickets.
The climbs will be part of the Forth Bridges Festival in July next year as well as the bridge’s 50th birthday, and a public ballot will be held to decide who gets the tickets.
Organisers say each tour will last around two hours, unless high winds call off the climb.
A three-person lift will take the visitors most of the way up the tower before they complete the journey up a 12m ladder while wearing a harness.
This will bring the tourists to the level where the where the aircraft warning lights are situated.
The steep cost compares to £16 for entry to Edinburgh castle, £4 to climb the Scott Monument on Princes Street, and £16 to enter Edinburgh zoo.
A Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) spokesman said: “The thinking is really to open up this opportunity to as many people as possible.
“We know that it’s something that a lot of people have long wanted to do – we are very keen to keep it no more expensive than the price of going to see Scotland play at Murrayfield for example.”
Prices have yet to be finalised but it is expected tourists will pay over £50 for one of the 2014 tickets.
Bridgemaster and chief engineer Barry Colford said: “FETA has well-established procedures for escorting visitors to the top tower tops.
“These will be reviewed and enhanced where appropriate to accommodate large numbers of visitors.”
City transport vice-convener Councillor Jim Orr, who has previously climbed the bridge, said the experience was “spectacular and exhilirating.”
He said: “The festival will be paid for by a combination of corporate sponsorship, ticket sales and other public funding.
“No money allocated for the maintenance of the bridge is being used to fund the festival.”
The event is part of the Year of Homecoming, and a parade across the bridge, a fireworks display and a boat flotilla will also take place.
Dignitaries visiting Edinburgh for the International Cable Supported Bridge Operators’ Conference next month will be able to take part in a trial climb of the towers.
There are also plans for guided walks along the top of the Forth Rail Bridge as part of a bid to give it World Heritage status.