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Forth Road Bridge: Will be closed until 2016

The Forth Road Bridge could be closed for several weeks after safety experts identified eight more danger areas on the 51-year-old structure.

The bridge has been closed to all traffic since midnight amid growing concern for its safety.

This has caused complete chaos on the trunk road network in the east of the country and now there are fears the area will become a nightmare before Christmas as thousands travel home for the festive season.

This morning queues stretched for more than 11 miles from the A985 in Fife all the way to the M876 and M9 at Falkirk.
Conversely the M90 in Fife which feeds traffic on to the Forth Bridge and is normally extremely busy in the morning was almost completely empty.

The scale of safety problems with the bridge became known last night (Thursday) following inspections which identified eight additional areas of concern on the steel structure.

Transport Minister Derek MacKay advised commuters who normally use the bridge to not travel.

He said:“I thank travellers and drivers for their patience but we have to close the bridge for reasons of safety to undertake investigation and repairs, and therefore I would advise the travelling public to avoid travelling if they were going to use the Forth Road Bridge tomorrow.”

ScotRail anticipate a huge rise in service use over the coming weeks.

The decision to fully close the bridge came after operators Amey forwarded their findings to the government agency Transport Scotland.

Moments ago Traffic Scotland confirmed that the bridge will be closed until the new year:

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