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On Wednesday morning the Forth Bridge will be reduced to single lane traffic in each direction to allow for a further detailed inspection to be carried out below the southbound roadway. It appears that a defect has been discovered in the steel structure there.

This is what the Forth Road Bridge say on their website:

Traffic on the Forth Road Bridge is temporarily restricted to a single lane in each direction pending the outcome of a detailed inspection following the discovery of a defect to a steel component beneath the southbound carriageway. This was found during routine planned inspection and a closure is required to ensure a full detailed inspection can be undertaken.

Engineers and specialists will undertake a detailed inspection on Wednesday morning at first daylight, the outcome of which will inform decisions on whether any further restrictions are required. A contraflow will be put in place on the northbound carriageway on Tuesday night on the grounds of safety and to prevent any risk of damage until the detailed inspection has been undertaken.

Mark Arndt, Operating Company Representative, said: “We’ve taken the decision to close the southbound carriageway as a safety precaution after one of our engineers spotted a new defect to a piece of steelwork.

“Unfortunately this defect is located in a particularly hard to access area so the full detailed inspection cannot safely be carried out in darkness or during high winds. Our inspectors will however be monitoring the situation overnight and we will be ready to move in as soon as conditions allow.

“We apologise for the short notice to these essential traffic restrictions and are aware that they will result in very long delays, so our advice is to avoid Forth Road Bridge and divert via Kincardine or the A9 and M9, use public transport or travel outwith peak times. We do sympathise with all drivers who face delays, however I’m sure everyone appreciates that safety must come first.”

“We’ll provide further updates once our investigation is complete and we have information to share.”