New Queensferry Crossing hit by second delay

Auslan Cramb
The new Queensferry Crossing over the Forth - Credit: Ken Jack / Alamy Live News

The new landmark crossing over the Firth of Forth has been delayed for a second time, the Scottish Government has admitted.

Keith Brown, the economy minister, told MSPs the date for completion of the £1.35 billion Queensferry Crosinsg had been pushed back again due to “adverse weather conditions”.

He is expected to give further details on when the 1.7-mile bridge is expected to open when he appears before a Holyrood committee today(weds).

He would not be drawn on reports that contractors had asked for the completion date to be extended to September.

He also said the seven-year project was around a quarter of a billion pounds below budget "and that won't change".

Economy minister Keith Brown confirmed the delay Credit: PA

The structure, which is replacing the ageing Forth Road Bridge, was initially due to open in December, but the date was then put back until the end of May after poor weather allegedly affected work.

Mr Brown said he had been told that strong winds had now affected the removal of cranes used in the construction and had hit the estimated completion date.

Murdo Fraser, the Conservative MSP, asked: "Does he recognise that this is now the second delay there has been in the completion of the bridge?

"We were promised by the First Minister previously it would be completed by the end of last year, we were then told by the cabinet secretary it would be completed by the end of May, we are now looking at a further delay.”

The minister said the bridge would be there for 120 years and it was “important that we both get it right and that we do it safely”.

He added: “For example, it has taken 65 days to actually take down one of the cranes which would normally have taken 15 days because of the consistently high winds.

"As soon as the wind speed goes above 25mph, it's not possible to work on that, so that has contributed to this.”

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that there are plans to install average speed cameras on the A90 route between Dundee and Stonehaven in a bid to improve road safety.

Humza Yousaf, the transport minister, said average speed cameras on the A9, the main route to the north of Scotland, had improved driver behaviour and cut the number of fatalities by over 37 per cent.

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