Fife Council has welcomed the news that the Forth Road Bridge will reopen at 6am tomorrow and the restrictions will be lifted on the A985.

Council leader David Ross said: “This is very good news indeed.

"It’s a great Christmas present for travellers, commuters and many businesses on both sides of the Forth. However, the delay announced for HGVs is frustrating for the haulage industry.

“Nonetheless, I expressed my appreciation to the Scottish transport minister when I spoke to him this morning and asked him to convey my thanks to everyone who’s worked so hard to make this re-opening possible for the majority of bridge users.

"I would also like to thank all those who’ve worked tirelessly these past few weeks to help ease the disruption and keep local services going. And thanks must go again to everyone in the community for their patience during these unprecedented events.”

Councillor Lesley Laird, depute leader and spokesperson for business and the economy, pledged to continue to work with businesses that will still be affected by restrictions.

“Although the re-opening is welcome news for many of us in Fife and beyond, the fact that HGVs won’t be able to use the bridge until mid-February will undoubtedly come as a blow to the industry,” she said.

“Of course people understand that safety must be paramount and that these loads cannot cross if it’s not safe to do so.

"However, businesses dependent on HGVs have been bearing additional operational constraints and costs and had been planning for a January re-opening date.

"Hauliers will now need to continue to take long diversions until February.

"The council will work with partners, including Transport Scotland, who have pledged extra maintenance resources, to keep routes clear and traffic flowing as far as possible.

“We will also continue to work with Fife Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to provide any support and advice that we can,” concluded Cllr Laird.

Buses, public services vehicles and any vehicle weighing up to 7.5 tonnes will be able to cross the bridge.