A WEIGHT restriction has been put in place for heavy goods vehicles travelling across the Forth Road Bridge.

Vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes have now been banned from the road and will need to use an alternative route.

A further update on the restrictions for other drivers is expected later this afternoon, but until then traffic is still restricted to a single lane in each direction following the discovery of a defect to a steel component beneath the southbound carriageway during a routine inspection on Tuesday.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning of strong winds, which will be in place from mid-afternoon on Friday until the early hours of Saturday.

The bridge is likely to be open to cars only during the evening peak period and a full bridge closure is possible around midnight. Motorists are advised to check the weather forecast and adjust their travel plans as required.

Public transport may be affected, with winds forecast in excess of the level at which buses would be permitted to cross. Hauliers are advised to plan an alternative route.

The bridge is also expected to be closed to cyclists and pedestrians for most of the afternoon and overnight.

Mark Arndt, operating company representative for bridge operators Amey, said: “Our site-specific weather forecast for the Forth Road Bridge is indicating very strong winds on Friday afternoon that may close the bridge to all vehicles except cars.

“The forecast then shows winds peaking around midnight with gusts that could potentially close the bridge to all traffic. “We’re grateful to users of the bridge for the patience they have shown during the current traffic restrictions and appreciate that additional disruption due to weather is the last thing they need, however our advice is to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.”

Bridge users are advised to follow @forthroadbridge on Twitter and to check the bridge website www.forthroadbridge.org before travel. For information on the wider network follow @trafficscotland or visit www.trafficscotland.org

Keep an eye on the Press website for more updates as we receive them.