Sturgeon quizzed over Queensferry Crossing disruption

The First Minister accused the Tories of spreading 'misinformation' on the delays.

The First Minister has accused her opponents of spreading "misinformation" as she defended the management of the new Queensferry Crossing.

The £1.35bn bridge over the Firth of Forth will be partially closed from Thursday night through to Wednesday morning as contractors carry out what is being described as "snagging" work.

Further lane restrictions could be carried out over the next ten months, adding to disruption for commuters.

Nicola Sturgeon faced a number of questions on the matter from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie at First Minister's Questions on Thursday.

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The First Minister refused to accept the structure will be closed as southbound traffic can instead use the Forth Road Bridge, while northbound traffic will continue to use the crossing.

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"The Conservatives want to put misinformation around but they don't want to listen to the answers," she told MSPs.

Sturgeon described the additional work as "normal" and said it will not cost the taxpayer any more money.

The First Minister said: "Yes there will be further snagging works required over the coming months, again entirely normal on an infrastructure project.

"The work that will start tonight is the only identified snagging work that will require peak-time lane closures. Any future lane closures that can't be avoided will be at night, not during the day, and not during peak hours.

"Under the contract all snagging works are carried out at no additional cost to the Scottish Government."

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Her answers on the partial closure did not satisfy Davidson and Rennie.

The Scottish Conservative leader said: "Transport Scotland knew that the road over the bridge was faulty when the bridge was opened back in August because that's what they said in parliament yesterday yet the transport minister said this morning that he knew nothing about the partial closure until last week.

"What jars here is the way that they pushed through the opening of this bridge in the summer and claimed it as a symbol of SNP competence but now there's a problem it's 'don't look at us we're just the Scottish Government.'"

Rennie said: "Who spends over £1bn on a bridge then closes it weeks later?"

He added: "With work predicted to last until September next year the completion of this crossing will be two years late. People deserve openness at last from this government.

"This government's priority has been to not disrupt the ceremony with troublesome facts."

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