Queensferry Crossing to partially close for five days

The £1.35bn bridge near Edinburgh was officially opened by the Queen in September.

Queensferry Crossing: Concerns over closure plans. Jane Barlow/PA

The newly opened Queensferry Crossing will partially close for five days on Thursday.

Motorists will be able to travel northbound but those heading south will have to use the Forth Road Bridge.

Various restrictions will be in place until September 2018 while engineers fix a series of issues with the £1.35bn bridge, which opened in September.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf insisted the Scottish Government has always been upfront about potential works.

He told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We have been very upfront about the fact that there was finishing works still to be complete."

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Under construction: Queensferry Crossing nearing completion earlier this year. PA

Michelle Rennie, the Transport Scotland director responsible for the Queensferry Crossing, told the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday: "We have been consistently saying that there will be finishing and snagging works required.

"The contract allows for those works to happen up until next September, at no additional cost.

"There will some additional works going on. There will be some lane restrictions happening between now and then."

Ms Rennie told the committee the issues came to light in August but a solution was not found until a "couple of weeks ago".

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Transport Scotland was criticised for the suddenness of the announcement, with works due to begin at 10pm on Thursday and end at 6am on Wednesday.

Scottish Conservatives transport spokesman Jamie Green MSP said: "At no point were road users, whose daily lives are now thrown into disarray, informed that there were impending closures.

"To make matters worse, we now know that there are potentially more closures to come."

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "We need to know exactly what other works are in the pipeline to make the bridge fully operational and how this will impact upon its users."

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