A FIFE MSP has expressed fears that West Fife commuters face "years of disruption" due to the length of time taken to tackle the issue of ice falling from the Queensferry Crossing.

The £1.35 billion bridge over the Forth was forced to shut for two days last year when ice built up on its cables amid wintry conditions.

Murdo Fraser has branded the lack of a long-term solution as "woeful" after raising the subject in the Scottish Parliament last week.

The Mid Scotland and Fife Tory MSP was told by Minister for Transport Graeme Dey that various possible ideas to address the problem had been considered, including using the Forth Road Bridge as an alternative route.

"I raised the concerns of many of my constituents in Fife who want reassurance that we won’t see another winter of disruption caused by this problem," he said.

“However, all I heard from the Minister for Transport was that there is no timetable for improvements and that the SNP Government has no idea when any proposed improvements will be done.

“It was clear from the Minister for Transport’s answer to my question that there is still no long-term solution for this problem, so it looks like we are in for years of disruption.

"That is not good enough and I know many of my constituents will be rightly frustrated by this response.

“It is not good enough for the Minister for Transport to make facetious comments about not being able to predict the weather – all it takes is one night of freezing weather and we will have the likelihood of ice falling from the cables of the Queensferry Crossing and the subsequent closure of the bridge and inevitable disruption that will follow.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said work was ongoing to resolve the problem.

“Our operational procedures to manage ice accretion on the Queensferry Crossing have worked well and have ensured an adequate response to public safety requirements," he said.

"During any emergency closure of the Queensferry Crossing, a diversion route will be implemented using the Forth Road Bridge or Kincardine Bridge as appropriate, dependent on the duration of the closure required.

“Work has been undertaken in the last two years and various options are being considered for mock-up laboratory and on-site trials.

"The options identified as meriting additional research and development work are systems to retain and control the accreted ice, mechanical vibration systems, ultrasonic de-icing systems, liquid de-icers, hydrophobic coatings, cleaning of the stay cables and robotics.

"Trials of some systems such as cleaning of the stay cables, use of de-icers and hydrophobic coatings will be undertaken prior to this winter.”