The Queensferry Crossing could be closed until at least Wednesday due to falling ice caused by Storm Ciara.

Commuters heading across the Forth have been urged to plan an alternative route for their journeys on Tuesday morning after it was announced the flagship £1.3 billion bridge would be closed to traffic.

The crossing initially closed to motorists on Monday evening following reports several vehicles were struck by frozen debris.

READ MORE: Falling ice and snow shuts Queensferry Crossing

Traffic Scotland confirmed that the crossing would remain closed for the Tuesday morning rush hour while inspections are carried out.

But Bridge operators Amey have now warned the closure could last until Wednesday to allow for safety chiefs to assess the structure.

It means motorists now face a diversion via the A985 to the Kincardine Bridge and the M9 Southbound, and the reverse for Northbound traffic.

However, drivers are being warned to expect heavy delays, with journey times via the A985 listed at 1 hour and 20 mins to Junction 1A and 1 hour and 5 minutes to the M9 Junction 1A if taking the A977.

ScotRail will operate extra services across the Forth Rail Bridge to help with the closure, while Stagecoach are also running additional buses on the Forth Road Bridge to provide a route for commuters.

It is understood at least eight vehicles were hit by falling ice on the bridge on Monday, however no one was thought to be injured.

Mark Arndt, of Forth Bridges Unit with Amey, told Good Morning Scotland that the closure was caused by a "unique set of weather conditions".

"We had a combination of strong westerly winds, a mixture of snow and sleet that resulted in snow accumulations on the main cables of the Queensferry Crossing."

READ MORE: Winter weather disrupts travel as Scots reel after Storm Ciara

"At an elevated height, that snow accumulation became chilled."

He added: "It accumulated in a reasonable size and fell to the carriageway. And it was on the grounds of safety that we took the decision to close the bridge."

The Met Office issued yellow warnings for gales and wintry conditions across much of the country yesterday and today, with gusts of up to 60mph battering some areas.