Bridge traffic delays wedding

REPAIR works on the Forth Road Bridge created major traffic congestion in and around South Queensferry last weekend - and even delayed a wedding.

A contraflow was put in place on the bridge throughout Saturday and Sunday to allow surfacing repairs and the inspection of the main expansion joints to be carried out.

But with the southbound carriageway closed to all traffic it caused major delays on both sides of the Forth from mid-morning to early evening with traffic queuing several miles and having to wait up to 90 minutes to get across the bridge.

And for one couple it meant a two hour delay before their wedding took place.

Gino and Fiona Rondelli were set to tie the knot at Queensferry Parish Church at 12.30pm but the wedding had to be delayed by two hours for members of the groom’s family to arrive.

The couple, who live in Edinburgh but frequent Queenferry regularly as they are keen bikers, were on time for their big day but Gino’s mother and a flower girl and friends were caught up in the queues.

Queensferry Parish Church’s Reverend David Cameron who took the wedding ceremony said: “The groom was already in the church while the bride was waiting at the Dakota Hotel when they got a call to say several of the party were stuck in traffic. My record for a bride being late for her wedding was 50 minutes but this topped it! Our organist Huw Thomas excelled himself as he played to the wedding party in church for two hours and eventually started taking requests.”

Despite prior warning by FETA of potential delays, Forth Road Bridge chief engineer Barry Caulfield said he wished to apologise for the inconvenience motorists endured over the weekend.

Mr Caulfield said: “We carried prior warnings of essential repairs on the bridge through the press and local radio and although we did expect significant delays, the queues were still horrendous. We also experienced a technical problem on our website which reported there were delays of over 15 minutes when in fact these were around 90 minutes. Some motorists did heed the warning messages, however, as traffic figures were down 30 per cent over the two days.”

He added: “This was the first time daytime work has been carried out since 2009 but it was needed as there were four sets of essential repairs were undertaken. The workers worked round the clock from 5am on Saturday to 8.20pm on Sunday.”

Mr Caulfield wished to add his apologies to the wedding couple for the delays, saying: “I was informed by workers that there was a bridal party stuck in traffic on the M90. But it was gridlock and there was nothing we could do to get them there quicker.”