THE Forth Estuary smells so bad that car passengers blame each other for breaking wind, according to the deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
Alex Rowley claims that commuters crossing the Forth Road Bridge are starting to look at each other and insist: “It wasnae me”.
Mr Rowley, the MSP for Cowdenbeath, Fife, gets regular complaints from constituents about the putrid smell of the Forth.
The politician, who was for years Gordon Brown’s election agent and constituency manager, told his local paper: “I did street surgeries in Inverkeithing last week and I was surprised by the number of people who raised the matter.
“People are very proud to be Fifers, and many pointed out that the first thing that hits you when you come over the bridge, depending on which way the wind blows, is this terrible stench.”
He added: “It’s got the point where people in cars look at each other and say, ‘It wisnae me!’
“Part of the point people are making is that we’ve got this new bridge, and they’re proud to promote Fife for tourism, so we need to address this.
“I took the issue up last year with Fife Council and there were all these different steps being taken to address the issue but from the feedback I got from the surgeries, the problem is still ongoing.”
The Forth has long suffered complaints that it stinks and the presence of the Dunfermline Waste Water Treatment Works on its northern shore is unlikely to help.
In June 2014 – following an investigation into the stench – Fife Council sent an “odour management plan” to Scottish Water asking them to stem the free-flow of septic sludge at the treatment works.
But a year later Mr Rowley has insisted that there remains something rotten in the Kingdom of Fife – and he is still inundated with floods of complaints from nose-pinching locals.
A spokesman for Scottish Water said: “We are constantly working with SEPA and Fife Council to manage odours from Dunfermline Waste Water treatment Works and to comply with our regulatory requirements.
“We have not yet received the latest letter from Alex Rowley MSP. When it arrives we shall ensure any concerns raised are fully investigated by the local waste operations team and a response will go back to the MSP.”