Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Forth Road Bridge closure: Extra trains and buses being put on

Forth Road Bridge Image copyright Reuters

Extra trains and buses are to be put on before the Monday rush hour to try to minimise travel disruption caused by the closure of the Forth Road Bridge.

Passenger capacity will be increased on train services between Cowdenbeath in Fife and Edinburgh Haymarket by 6,500.

An additional 33 buses will operate an enhanced park and ride service, using the Ferrytoll and Halbeath sites.

The 51-year-old bridge was closed at midnight on Thursday after a defect was found in the steelwork of the tower.

It will remain closed until the new year. A dedicated web page has been set up to keep commuters and businesses informed about travel options, diversions and restrictions.

The crossing is a vital artery in Scotland's transport network and is normally used by more than 60,000 vehicles a day.

The announcement of additional trains and buses was made following a meeting of the Scottish government's resilience committee, chaired by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland's Transport Minister Derek Mackay described the situation as a matter of "national significance".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Repair work means the bridge will be closed until the new year

Motorists travelling into Scotland are also to be encouraged to use routes in the west of the country to ease congestion around the bridge.

Ministers also said they would speak to businesses hit by the closure in the coming days to find out how they can help.

Mr Mackay said: "From Sunday, commuters will be able to access a dedicated website offering detailed information on these updated travel options.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adapt our travel plan as required. While we are doing everything we can to ease the impact on travellers, we would urge people to do their bit by considering their travel plans in advance and making any possible contingencies.

"This could include being more flexible about your work times and locations if possible."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The 51-year-old bridge is normally used by more than 60,000 vehicles a day

Mr Mackay added: "We also have made contact with the main business organisations in Scotland, local authorities and enterprise areas and are working together to examine the economic and business impact and identify any practical steps that can be taken to mitigate that as much as possible."

The Forth Road Bridge is scheduled to be replaced by a new crossing in about 12 months' time.

Once the new Queensferry Crossing opens, the old bridge will remain open to carry public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

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