Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man charged after lorry blown over on Forth Road Bridge

Lorry overturned on Forth Road Bridge Image copyright Traffic Scotland
Image caption The incident happened during high winds

A man has been charged with dangerous driving after an incident in which a lorry overturned in high winds on the Forth Road Bridge.

The bridge was closed on Tuesday in both directions for several hours until the vehicle was removed.

The 56-year-old is due to appear at Dunfermline Sheriff Court later.

Police Scotland said the accident happened at about 14:50 while the bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles because of 50mph winds.

The lorry was righted at about 17:00, and escorted off the bridge an hour later.

Both carriageways had been closed over fears the trailer could move in high winds.

No-one was injured in the incident.

Image caption The bridge was closed in both directions amid fears the wind could move the trailer

Meanwhile, the driver of the lorry that overturned on the Forth Road Bridge in January's gales, blocking it for 19 hours, has been fined £1,000 and banned from driving for two years.

Aleksander Niemiec, from Macclesfield in Cheshire, was also ordered to re-sit the driving test and HGV licence test.

Niemiec, 55, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on 11 January by failing to comply with road signs.

The signs said the bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles due to high winds.

Image copyright Traffic Scotland
Image caption The lorry driven by Aleksander Niemiec ended up on its side in the January incident

Mark Arndt, Amey's account director for the Forth Bridges, said: "This incident demonstrates the dangers of ignoring high wind restrictions on the Forth Road Bridge, and the potential consequences for drivers.

"On this occasion it was only a matter of luck that nobody was killed or injured, and a huge amount of disruption and frustration was caused to many thousands of people.

"We would urge all drivers of wind-susceptible vehicles - which includes caravans, cars with trailers or roof boxes and motorcycles as well as high-sided vehicles - to pay close attention to safety restrictions during high winds and to obey road signs.

"If you ignore these restrictions you risk your licence, your job and potentially your liberty, as well as your own safety and that of other road users.

"I would also like to thank the great majority of responsible drivers who do pay attention to restrictions for their patience and understanding during this incident."

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