Councillors on the South and West Fife Villages Area Committee were updated by Traffic Scotland and Amey on the traffic issues that affect the Queensferry Crossing.
They were told that the technology installed to control traffic in the bridgehead area is currently in a learning state. It incorporates self-learning signals that monitor the flow of traffic over the approaches. These are in a learning phase until Spring. This technology monitors traffic flow at difference periods of the day and can adjust the traffic lights and gantry information to best suit the traffic conditions. Over time this technology will recognise patterns and should reduce traffic congestion.
Members were advised that congestion issues that affect the bridge would be greatly improved if drivers remained on the main roads rather than trying to bypass hold ups using rat runs. This practise increases disturbances to the traffic flow when they re-enter the main routes causing vehicles to brake and back up the traffic. One of the options being looked at, is using the lights on slip roads to extend the drive through times on routes thereby making them less of a temptation.
It was also highlighted that some drivers continue to drive at 50mph even when the speed limit is 70mph. It was thought this might be a throw back to the speed on the Forth road Bridge, a psychological slowing down on the bridge.
They were told that the overnight works on the new Queensferry Crossing are now complete. This should see an end to the regular evening restrictions, once all the equipment has been removed. In the near future the lights that illuminate the ends of the crossing will be dimmed to reduce the impact to drivers entering the bridge.
It was emphasised that the bridge has been very successful. The old bridge had the capacity to take approximately 70,000 vehicles per day, the Queensferry Crossing is now up to 80,000. With additional housing being built in Fife a growth of 1-3% per annum is anticipated. The wind breaks on the new crossing have proved to be extremely effective. There have been more than 30 instances where the original bridge would have had to be closed but the new crossing has been able to remain open.