Businesses and the economy are continuing to benefit from more reliable journeys thanks to Queensferry Crossing, new analysis from Transport Scotland has revealed.
The first anniversary of the bridge’s opening was on 30 August. Since becoming accessible to traffic, the UK’s tallest bridge over the Forth has delivered benefits to the economy and businesses, mirroring a report from Audit Scotland.
The features of Queensferry Crossing include wind shields and hard shoulders, operational features that were specifically designed to provide more reliable journeys, reducing the delays that were previously experienced on the Forth Road Bridge due to high winds, accidents and breakdowns.
In the year since the bridge has been opened, Transport Scotland’s data has revealed that 14 occasions have been recorded where the previous crossing of the Forth Road Bridge would have had to close to those vehicles that are high-sided.
Because of the wind shields put in place, journeys that would have previously been delayed – particularly in the haulage industry – have been able to go ahead more than they would have been able to a year or two ago.
The likes of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) have recognised the delivery of more reliable journeys thanks to Queensferry Crossing, as well as the benefits this has resulted in for businesses and commuters.
Because of the introduction of hard shoulders, delays resulting from dealing with accidents has significantly reduced; on Queensferry Crossing, the typical duration of an incident is approximately one hour from the start, through to restoring normal traffic conditions.
For the Forth Road Bridge, this ranged from one hour to five hours, resulting in prolonged and severe delays.
And Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager of the FTA, said this crossing has been “vital” for the supply chain.
He said: “At a time when reliable trading links across the country, and with the rest of Europe, are more critical than ever before, the Queensferry Crossing has quickly established itself as a vital component in the UK’s supply chain.”