Last chance for car drivers to cross Forth Road Bridge

It has carried nearly 850 million vehicles, been open since the Rolling Stones released their debut album and is about to carry its last car.

Wednesday 5th September will be the last day that cars will be allowed on the bridge. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Wednesday 5th September will be the last day that cars will be allowed on the bridge. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Drivers will today have their last chance to cross the Forth Road Bridge after 53 years, with traffic due to switch to the Queensferry Crossing for the final time early tomorrow.

With it will go the characteristic “badum, badum, badum” sound of tyres going over the increasingly uneven deck joints, whose edges have been worn down over the years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It will also end an encore for the bridge, which re-opened to vehicles last Friday following a two-day breather while the Queensferry Crossing welcomed its first traffic.

It swung back into action to enable more than 60,000 people to walk over new crossing – including nearly 10,000 local people yesterday – and its official opening by the Queen on Monday, the anniversary of her opening the original bridge in 1964.

From tomorrow, cyclists and walkers will have the bridge to themselves for at least a month while new road links are completed for its role as a “public transport corridor” – carrying buses and taxis.

That is expected to start sometime between the middle of October and the beginning of November, when the Queensferry Crossing will become a motorway.

Neil Greig, the Scottish-based policy and research director of motoring group IAM Road-
Smart, who has been commenting on the bridge for decades, said: “It will no doubt breathe a slightly puzzled sigh of relief at the sudden loss of so much traffic, but at least it can look forward to some pampering and loving attention from its faithful engineers to give it a mid-life makeover – well I hope it’s still got a few decades left in it.”

Mark Arndt, Forth bridges unit account director for Amey, which runs both bridges for the Scottish Government said: “The Forth Road Bridge has provided a vital link in Scotland’s strategic road network for 53 years, carrying over double the weight and volume of traffic its designers anticipated.

“Over those years many good men and women have worked hard to keep it safe and open to traffic, and we are proud to have been part of that history.”