MOTORISTS face another day of restrictions on the Forth Road Bridge.

Drivers will continue to be limited to a single lane in each direction until at least noon on Thursday.

Traffic restrictions have been in place on the bridge since Tuesday evening following the discovery of a defect to a steel component beneath the southbound carriageway during a routine inspection.

It has lead to tailbacks and lengthy delays for motorists using the crossing and surrounding routes.

One commuter said: "It's been terrible, I came down the Fife route and I was stuck for about two hours."

Traffic Scotland reported congestion on the M90 back to junction 3 (Halbeath) yesterday, while the A90 was very slow northbound from the M90 beyond Dalmeny.

The A985 and the Kincardine Bridge were also very busy, with a 25 minute delay on the bridge during the morning rush-hour.

Engineers and specialists carried out a more detailed inspection of the fault this morning. Transport Scotland said they were "currently in the process of completing calculations with a view to implementing a temporary solution in the near future and a permanent repair at a future date".

It is hoped that traffic restrictions can be at least partially lifted at some point tomorrow.

Abnormal loads are not permitted to cross while the contraflow is in place, but the east footpath has reopened to cyclists and pedestrians.

Mark Arndt, a representative for Amey, the company contracted to maintain Scotland's south-east trunk road network on behalf of Transport Scotland, said: “A key structural component beneath the southbound carriageway has failed so it is important that we carry out all the necessary calculations before relaxing safety restrictions.

“Following the detailed inspection carried out we now have the information required to develop both short and long term solutions. Our team will be working through the night to design and check our plans and we aim to have these confirmed during the day tomorrw.

“We apologise for the disruption that these safety restrictions are causing. Our advice remains to avoid Forth Road Bridge for the time being and divert via Kincardine or the A9 and M9, use public transport or travel outwith peak times.

“Drivers did take heed of the warnings yesterday and we would ask them to keep checking the latest information from Traffic Scotland before they set off on their journeys.”

A new £1.4 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth is due to open in December 2016.

It was ordered by ministers because of corrosion of the main suspension cable on the Forth Road Bridge.