THE Scottish Government is being urged to tackle traffic congestion on the approach to Queensferry Crossing.

Liz Smith MSP says the issue is a cause of great frustration for motorists, particularly in West Fife.

The Mid Scotland and Fife politician was disappointed to learn that no talks had taken place between Holyrood and Fife and Lothian councils to look into ways of tackling rush-hour congestion.

Ms Smith says she has received a number of complaints from constituents complaining the situation is made worse by drivers ‘rat-running’ – driving off the M90 at junctions and then driving straight back on to try to beat queues on the motorway.

Scottish Conservatives claim figures released by Transport Scotland show congestion is getting worse, with nearly 28 million vehicles having travelled over the Queensferry Crossing in the 12 months to October. This was 3.9 per cent more than in the same period the previous year.

This compares to 26.68 million the year before and 26 million a year on the Forth Road Bridge in 2014.

Ms Smith said: "As many residents will be aware, motorists from Fife are faced with lengthy tailbacks on the approach to the Queensferry Crossing on a daily basis – a very disappointing and frustrating situation that many of them probably didn’t anticipate when the new bridge opened.

“This is why I raised the matter of congestion for motorists approaching the Queensferry Crossing from the Fife side with the Transport Minister, Michael Matheson, but find it hard to believe that no talks have taken place between the Scottish Government and Fife and Lothian councils to look into ways to resolve rush-hour congestion."

She continued: “The statistics released by Transport Scotland on the number of vehicles travelling over the Queensferry Crossing emphasise how many vehicles use it and how this has led to long periods of congestion, which are particularly bad for motorists on the south-bound approach waiting to cross at peak-time traffic in the morning.

“I was very concerned when the Transport Minister told me no discussions had taken place between the Scottish Government and Fife and Lothian councils.

"He eventually did concede that talks have been planned to take place between Transport Scotland and Fife Council in January but I feel this is such a serious issue that it should have been looked at well before now.

“This is yet another example of how the Scottish Government has taken its eye off the ball, as the traffic congestion problem faced by Fife motorists seems to have simply switched from one bridge to another.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The Queensferry Crossing was designed and constructed as a replacement for the Forth Road Bridge (FRB), including the provision of two lanes of traffic in each direction.

“The Forth Replacement Crossing project was promoted on the basis that future demand for cross-Forth travel should be met by public transport. The use of the FRB as a dedicated public transport corridor and associated bus lanes has reduced journey times for bus users from Fife park and ride sites by up to 40 per cent at peak times between Ferrytoll and Newbridge when compared to the car.

“We have well-established stakeholder relations via the Forth Bridges Forum and have held regular public engagement sessions throughout the various stages of the project. We will continue to work constructively with stakeholders.

“Following an invitation from Fife Council, Transport Scotland will attend the next South and West Fife Area committee meeting, which is expected to be in January 2020.”