Forth Road Bridge reopens to all but HGVs

Forth Road Bridge reopens to all but HGVs

The reopening of the busy Forth Road Bridge ahead of schedule has given motorists driving between Edinburgh and Fife during the holidays a festive lift.

It had been expected that temporary repairs would see the bridge remaining closed to traffic until the new year.

But with the repairs now complete the bridge has been reopened to everything but HGVs. It is thought lorries will have to wait until the middle of February - when permanent repairs will have been carried out - before they can use the road again.

The bridge was shut almost three weeks ago after a routine inspection uncovered a crack in the truss under the southbound carriageway. A steel splint has now been installed to repair the crack. Seven more splints are now to be put in as a precaution although that work can be carried out while the bridge is open to traffic.

With the bridge, which opened in 1964, used by around 70,000 vehicles a day, its closure has resulted in serious disruption for motorists and local businesses.

Derek Mackay, Scotland's transport minister, says the repairs were inspected and rigorously tested before the decision was taken that the bridge could be safely reopened to most vehicles.

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