Queensferry Crossing disruption extended until next summer

Drivers on the Queensferry Crossing face further disruption until next summer after ministers admitted work to finish the bridge had been delayed again.

Drivers have suffered evening delays since the bridge opened a year ago. Picture: Jon Savage

Evening lane closures should have ended last Sunday but will now continue for almost a year.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said the bridge builders had had difficulties getting the resources needed to do the work.

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The only remaining work from this week should have been painting under deck that carries the carriageways - due to be finished in December next year - as The Scotsman revealed in July.

However, an updated list shows only two of 23 of the finishing and snagging works have been completed, with seven now continuing until October next year.

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A spokesman for the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency, which is in charge of the project, said: "Traffic management will come off in December, then return in spring to summer at night for the works."

Mr Matheson said: “Our contractor, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) have indicated they have not made the progress with the snagging and finishing works as originally planned.

"The target date for completing this work was September 2018 but they have informed us they require further time.

“FCBC have said they have experienced difficulty in mobilising the resources required to complete the outstanding works on the project.

“But they are confident they will finish all but two areas of the remaining works by December 2018, with work on the remaining two areas to commence in spring 2019.

“Where possible, traffic management will only be implemented during the night, as is standard across the trunk road network.

"In response to feedback from road users about night time traffic management during the summer months, additional processes have been implemented to ensure that traffic volumes are reduced prior to traffic management being installed on the bridge.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene said: “Commuters will see news of more repairs needed, and conclude that the SNP is now playing catch-up after hurrying to open the bridge triumphantly, at the expense of commuters and drivers.

“The fact the bridge is architecturally impressive does not excuse any disruption that will be caused to drivers due to its premature opening.

“There’s never been a back-patting session quite like it from the nationalists after the Queensferry Crossing was officially unveiled last year.

“But now we learn the substantial backlog of snagging works will continue well into the autumn of next year, two years after it originally opened.

“The Queensferry Crossing is a magnificent piece of work, but if journey times have not improved and motorists are facing years of roadworks, you can understand scepticism around this flagship project.”