Traffic Queues As Queensferry Crossing Re-Opens To Vehicles
7 September 2017, 07:19
Motorists were hit with expected delays as the Queensferry Crossing reopened to traffic following several days of celebratory events.
The new £1.35 billion bridge across the Firth of Forth was opened to vehicles overnight into Thursday, ahead of the morning rush hour, but southbound drivers faced queues of around 30 minutes as traffic adjusted to the new road layout.
The Queensferry Crossing first opened to traffic on August 30 but was closed for celebrations between September 1 and 6, with vehicles using the Forth Road Bridge.
Motorists were hit by delays on the opening day last week as sightseers flocked to drive over the structure, and transport chiefs expected a repeat of the problems on Thursday.
Traffic Scotland operator manager Stein Connelly said: "Demand for using the Queensferry Crossing when it first opened last week was very high. People were understandably coming to see the new bridge and this did lead to congestion.
"If you are commuting, check Traffic Scotland on Twitter for the latest information before you leave and if you are coming to the area to visit the bridge, we would ask that you do so when traffic is lighter.
"We have seen tremendous levels of interest in the crossing and we really appreciate people's patience as the new arrangements bed-in."
The Queen officially opened the bridge on Monday, a high point in a series of events marking the opening of the structure - the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world.
On Monday of last week, the 1.7-mile crossing was illuminated by a night-time light show to reflect the symbolic handover from contractors to the Scottish Government.
The first cars drove over the structure in the early hours of August 30 and it closed again on Friday to allow 50,000 people the ''once-in-a-lifetime'' chance to walk over it at the weekend.
A 40mph speed limit will be in place on the approach roads and over the bridge.
The Forth Road Bridge will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists as work continues to make the final connections to the new network.
Later in the year the Queensferry Crossing will become a motorway and the Forth Road Bridge will become a public transport corridor.
Inspector Peter Houston of Police Scotland's roads policing unit said: "We do expect there to be long delays as people come to see the new bridge over the coming days. We would advise members of the public who currently cross the Firth of Forth as part of their commute to think about disruptions to their journey and to allow for extra travel time as traffic levels adjust."