Dunfermline Press

Drivers ignored closure signs during trial


AN MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife has slammed the behaviour of motorists who ignored closure signs during the trial of the automated barriers on the Queensferr­y Crossing.

Murdo Fraser called the behaviour of drivers when the trial was carried out on Sunday, November 5 “inconsider­ate” and “appalling”.

He said: “The inconsider­ate actions of these motorists who continued to ignore the warning ‘X’ signs on the overhead gantries of the lane closures for an astonishin­g 20 minutes is frankly appalling.

“This led to the first northbound motorists, who probably stopped quicker due to the presence of a police car, being delayed by an hour. This is not good enough.”

BEAR Scotland confirmed that up to 200 vehicles travelling southbound drove past warning signs on the crossing during the testing of the automated barriers, which will be used in the event of the bridge having to close due to falling ice from its cables.

While the trial saw a dramatic reduction in the time it took to open the diversion to the Forth Road Bridge, it took over 20 minutes for traffic on the southbound carriagewa­y of the

M90 to comply with red X signs on the overhead gantries.

That meant the first drivers to stop on other approaches had to wait much longer before they could be directed onto the Forth Road Bridge.

Police Scotland were involved in this trial. However, the police vehicle on its way to the north end of the bridge had to prioritise another live incident so it could not be present for the start of the trial.

Mr Fraser continued: “It is fair enough for the bridge operator BEAR Scotland to carry out this trial but at the end of the day measures like this should not be necessary.

“The SNP Government were so keen to publicise the fact that the bridge would not close due to high winds, unlike the Forth Road Bridge, but they are embarrasse­d at the Queensferr­y Crossing having to close due to ice falling from its cables. This is something that should have been looked at prior to the opening of the Queensferr­y Crossing. We are now in the midst of a very cold spell of weather, said to be coming from Scandinavi­a, so we may well see the chaotic scenes we had back in 2020, which resulted in lengthy traffic delays and massive disruption for motorists and lorries carrying goods.”

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