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Forth Road Bridge reopens following construction work

Forth Road Bridge reopens following construction work

Scotland's Forth Road Bridge has reopened this morning (Wednesday 23rd December) to cars, following emergency construction work.The bridge was closed on December 4th to all vehicles after a crack was discovered underneath its main carriageway, posing a major risk to drivers, as well as the historic piece of engineering itself.It was originally thought that the work to fix the crack would be completed after the bank holiday, but the repair has been completed ahead of schedule in time for Christmas, which is good news for those wanting to travel by car between Fife and Edinburgh over the festive period.Typically, some 80,000 vehicles use the bridge every day, meaning there has been significant disruption to traffic across Scotland the north-east of England over the past few weeks while the bridge has been closed.Although the bridge is now reopened to cars, it is not certain when heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be allowed to cross it again, which could pose problems for businesses attempting to ship goods across the country in time for Christmas.Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, expressed his concerns over this delay, stating: "The major distribution centres on the northern, Fife-side of the river are totally reliant on an efficient, swift transport system and we have had many reports from members who are already struggling to keep to their pre-Christmas delivery schedules."The news that they will continue to face delays and a massive increase in cost for another eight weeks will, for many, prove to be unsustainable."He explained that hauliers have had to add an extra 50 miles to their trips, which has resulted in firms having to pay extra for fuel and staff's time, while the bridge has been closed.Although the delay for HGVs may be ongoing, the speedy construction and engineering work that took place to reinforce the bridge's steelwork after the 20 mm crack was discovered has made the experience of driving home for Christmas easier for tens of thousands of families this festive season. 

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