The Forth Road Bridge is back in business and is set to partially reopen tomorrow (Friday) to public buses. 

Since the Queensferry Crossing opened to traffic last month, the Forth Road Bridge has been closed for repairs to continue to make it road worthy as a public transport corridor. 

Now the work is complete, a contraflow arrangement will be in place for the first weeks of operation.

This is just the first stage for the public transport corridor with other buses, taxis and motorcycles, to follow in the coming weeks. 

But for now, other buses and all taxis and motorcycles will continue to use the Queensferry Crossing.

The 40 mph speed limit at the Queensferry Crossing will remain in place, but a higher 50 mph limit is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Once the new bridge is a fully operational motorway the speed limit will be 70 mph, apart from when the variable mandatory speed limit is in place.

Traffic Scotland, Amey and Transport Scotland are still monitoring the performance of the new bridge and say that traffic volumes have now returned back to normal levels. 

Paul Thomas, Stagecoach East Scotland Managing Director said: "The phased re-opening of the Forth Road Bridge will mean that we will be able to revert back to normal stopping arrangements for services X51, X55 and 747 as these routes can serve the bus stops at the south of the bridge, then divert via southbound bus lane or A904 to re-join the M90 for onward travel to Edinburgh/Airport.  Our services not scheduled to use these stops (X5, X9, X54, X56, X58, X59) will continue to use the Queensferry Crossing at present.

"In comparison to the tens of thousands of cars using the Queensferry Crossing each day, the number of public transport vehicles using the new bridge is extremely low. We will continue to liaise with Transport Scotland on the Forth Replacement Crossing project and look forward to gaining full access to the Forth Road Bridge in due course, using the new bus lanes to provide the best possible journey times for our customers."

Mark Arndt, Amey’s Account Director for the Forth Bridges Unit, said: “We’ve been taking advantage of the Forth Road Bridge being closed to traffic by carrying out important trials and investigations on the carriageway, with a view to completely resurfacing it at a future date. We’ve also taken the opportunity to get ahead with steelwork repairs and other maintenance. It will be good to see the bridge carrying buses again – this marks an important step forward towards the approved Managed Crossing strategy. Amey is looking forward to taking over responsibility for the Queensferry Crossing and the new approach roads once FCBC have completed their work.”

Traffic Scotland Operator Manager Stein Connelly said: “The transfer of public scheduled buses onto the Forth Road Bridge marks the next stage of the Queensferry Crossing project. There will be no change to the road layout for the majority of vehicles but we would ask all drivers to stay alert to allow everyone to get used to the new arrangements. Traffic Scotland will be keeping road users up to date on Friday with all of the real time travel information that they need to plan their journeys.”