Two years on and 'frequent delays' remain on Edinburgh's Queensferry Crossing - MSP complains

TRANSPORT Secretary Michael Matheson has come under pressure in the Scottish Parliament over ongoing works on the Queensferry Crossing two years after it opened.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson says the crossing has stayed open on 34 occasions when the Forth Road Bridge would have shut to high-sided vehicles.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson says the crossing has stayed open on 34 occasions when the Forth Road Bridge would have shut to high-sided vehicles.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser asked Mr Matheson for an update on the “snagging” work and any roadworks involved.

Mr Matheson told MSPs: “Good progress has been made with the snagging work on the Queensferry Crossing. The tower lifts and tower concrete finishing works are nearing completion and under-deck painting is well advanced.

“The contractor has advised that snagging work will be completed by the end of this year, weather permitting.”

Delays at the Queensferry Crossing are causing "frustration and upset" according to Tory MSP Murdo Fraser.

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He said traffic management would continue to be needed at times to allow safe access for those carrying out the works.

“All works requiring traffic management is undertaken overnight to minimise disruption to road-users.”

But Mr Fraser said he had driven across the bridge around 9:30pm the previous night when north bound traffic was reduced to one lane.

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He said this was “a frequent occurrence” which left travellers frustrated, especially when it resulted in delays.

He said: “I’m sure he’ll understand the frustration and concern there is that a bridge which had been open for two years to the public is still facing a large programme of works that are causing these delays.”

Mr Fraser asked for a guarantee that the works would not continue beyond the end of the year and asked how the cost of the snagging works would be met.

Mr Matheson said the costs would be met by the contractor but failed to issue any guarantee on when the works would be finished.

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He urged Mr Fraser to recognise the benefits gained from the opening of the crossing.

“There have been 34 occasions when the Forth Road Bridge would have been closed to high-sided vehicles when the Queensferry Crossing has been able to continue to operate.

“In big projects of this nature there will always be snagging work to be undertaken after the actual infrastructure is in use and we have to consider the health and safety needs of operatives operating on the bridge and put in place measures to consider their welfare while the work is being completed.”