MSPs have asked ministers for formal assurance that Edinburgh taxpayers will not face a multimillion-pound compensation bill for roadworks leading to the new Forth bridge, despite repeated reassurances by the Transport Minister.
Holyrood's Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee endorsed future arrangements for managing the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) and the existing bridge, which will replace the bridge operating company with a statutory body.
But the committee says Edinburgh Council's fears that it could be liable for between £93,000 and £4.4 million in compensation for noise, disturbance, vibration, smell and fumes from the construction of the M9 spur to the FRC have not been formally laid to rest.
"Edinburgh Council had raised concerns that it might be liable for outstanding compensation claims related this work following the dissolution of Feta (Forth Estuary Transport Authority)," said a new committee report on the Forth Road Bridge Bill.
"The committee is of the view that it would be helpful if the Scottish Government formally advised the council of the position before the Bill completes its parliamentary passage."
The Transport Minister, Keith Brown, told the committee on two occasions that he is "puzzled" by the council's fears, insisting that the Scottish Government will definitely pick up the Bill.
"I don't know what else is required to formalise it. We have said that we will take on these obligations," he told the committee on February 27.
An Edinburgh Council spokeswoman said city transport convener Lesley Hinds is still awaiting formal assurance from Transport Scotland that the local authority will not face any liabilities.
In the report, the committee accepts the "very clear statement" made by Mr Brown which confirms that the Scottish Government will take responsibility for meeting Feta's obligations including any arising from the building of the M9 spur approach to the Forth Road Bridge, but has asked for formal confirmation.
Committee convener Maureen Watt MSP said: "Our committee recognises the importance of this Bill as a key component in progress towards meeting the Scottish Government's objective of delivering a co-ordinated, managed Forth crossing strategy."