THE average speed for rush hour traffic on the Queensferry Crossing is less than 25 miles per hour, it has been revealed.

A freedom of information act submitted by the Scottish Conservatives has shown that drivers going over the new bridge can expect to enjoy an average speed of 24 mph during the morning rush hour and 21mph coming home in the evening.

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said she has received a stream of emails from frustrated motorists who are angry that using the new bridge is often slower than the old route.

“When the bridge was opened last year, the Transport Minister promised that congestion was just a by-product of initial public interest but here we are a year later and it is as bad as ever," she said.

“We were also assured that the new bridge would help reduce congestion for commuters but clearly this was based on incorrect modelling.

“Constituents travelling into Edinburgh from Fife and Kinross are growing frustrated by the crawling speeds and this is undoubtedly impacting economic growth in the region.

“People in Fife are experiencing the short end of the wedge when it comes to travel links with neither road or rail providing a suitable commuting option.

“Ultimately, we need the Transport Minister to be put forth measures to improve rush hour speeds as this is clearly not good enough."

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said the most recent figures show average speeds have gone up over the last few months.

“From April to May 2018, average speeds have increased during peak times by nearly 70 per cent in the AM and PM peak southbound and AM peak northbound while the PM peak northbound has shown a more moderate increase of 26 per cent," said the spokesperson. 

“The figures clearly show that taking the average speed of vehicles during the AM and PM peak period for the period “from when the Queensferry Crossing opened until May 2018” is not representative of the average speeds now that the traffic management and temporary speed limits have been removed.

"The project has always been intended to be a replacement – that’s why it was called the Forth ‘Replacement’ Crossing.

"It was designed to take over from the Forth Road Bridge and has been constructed to the highest industry standard, being named ‘project of the decade’ by an illustrious and respected awards panel as recently as yesterday.

“The bridge was not to designed to increase capacity or cut journey times significantly, however the bridge is far more reliable than its predecessor and has not closed due to severe winds to date, giving HGVs and commuters more confidence and less disruption during challenging weather and avoiding costly detours and diversions, while the hard shoulders have ensured that breakdowns are dealt with more effectively than before."