Drivers praised after Forth Road Bridge closures

The demolition work is carried out. Picture: Toby Williams
The demolition work is carried out. Picture: Toby Williams
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MOTORISTS have been praised for heeding the warnings and allowing major road closures around the Forth Road Bridge to pass off smoothly over the weekend.

Major demolition works forced thousands of drivers to take alternative routes from Saturday evening, with motorists diverted along the M9, the Kincardine Bridge and the A985.

The Forth Road Bridge was restricted to one lane in each direction for local access only, until 6am today, while the A90 and M90 were closed in both directions south of Echline Junction.

Those planning to use the crossing over the weekend were warned to expect lengthy delays and traffic chaos as the first attempts to demolish a bridge over the A90 took place.

But according to Traffic Scotland, the closure of affected roads caused minimal traffic disruptions, with “traffic running smoothly” all day.

A spokesman said: “We are grateful to the public for planning ahead and taking on board travel advice this weekend.

“The network appears to have coped remarkably well considering the scale of work being undertaken and diversions in place.

“However, we appreciate we are only a third of the way there.”

The same roads are scheduled to close from 8pm next Saturday evening through to 6am on the Monday morning and again on the weekend of November 14-15.

The demolition of the B800 bridge, which is located between South Queensferry and Kirkliston, marks another milestone in the progress of the new Queensferry Crossing.

The spokesman added: “These are essential demolition works to demolish the old B800 over bridge across the A90.

“A full closure of the road is required to ensure the safety of road users and workers given the proximity to the A90 itself.

“The work has been timed to cause the least amount of disruption possible – overnight and during the weekend.

“We have co-ordinated with Amey, the operators for the Forth Road Bridge, to schedule essential bridge maintenance works at the same time as the A90 closure to ensure that road users do not face further subsequent disruption in future works with weekend restrictions on the Forth Road Bridge.

Extra train carriages were also laid on yesterday to help ease the congestion as travellers turned to alternative methods of crossing the Forth, a move which will be repeated for future closures.

A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We will be adding extra coaches where possible, focusing on the busiest trains on each of the affected Sundays.”

Work on the Queensferry Crossing began in 2011 and is due to be completed next year.

When complete, its three towers will each stand at 207m tall.

The £1.4bn project was ordered following doubts about the long-term strength of the 51-year-old bridge after the discovery of corrosion of its main support cable.

When the new crossing opens the old bridge will then be reserved for use by buses and taxis.

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk