Queensferry Crossing woes for commuters

Pic Lisa Ferguson  22/12/2018''Queensferry Crossing, South Queensferry
Pic Lisa Ferguson 22/12/2018''Queensferry Crossing, South Queensferry

Frustrated commuters have faced hold-ups in one out of three days on the new £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing since it opened.

There were 121 days of lane restrictions last year, according to figures released by the Scottish Government. Some of the roadworks have lasted up to two-and-a-half weeks prompting opposition claims of “mismanagement” of the project by SNP ministers.

And the situation shows little sign of improvement, after 57 days of restrictions in the first half of this year.

Long tailbacks on the flagship crossing have been an unwelcome feature for drivers since it was opened in August 2017, with finishing works to continue beyond the second anniversary of its opening to the public.

Tory MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, Dean Lockhart, said: “These figures provide definitive proof that since it opened, drivers using the Queensferry Crossing have been consistently hampered by delays and 
restrictions. The least commuters could have expected from the new crossing was that it would help them get to work on time, but this simply hasn’t been the case. Instead there have been consistent lane closures causing lengthy and consistent delays.”

The worst month for hold-ups was May last year when 26 out of 31 days were affected by lane restrictions.

April of this year saw 14 days of lane restrictions. The duration of the works have varied from four minutes to 17 days and there could be more than one restriction at a time.

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine said she is “shocked and appalled” at the figures.

She said: “Commuters have been suffering for far too long because of the negligence of people in charge.

“I am shocked and appalled that my constituents’ day to day lives are being impacted in this way due to shoddy forward planning.

“And quite frankly it’s ludicrous that the SNP/Labour led Council in Edinburgh has allowed this situation to get so out of hand.”

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “Nearly 80,000 vehicles use the Queensferry Crossing each day, and since opening, there have been over 20 occasions when it has remained open when the Forth Road Bridge would have been closed or restricted for HGVs.

“As is standard on any major trunk road carrying this level of daily traffic, there has been a wide variety of reasons for lane restrictions on the Queensferry Crossing since 2018 – including accidents, breakdowns, roadworks and the removal of hazardous items.”