In 2017, on the day the Queensferry Crossing opened to the public, I paid a visit to the bridge’s HQ in Rosyth and spoke to the man in charge of the project, David Climie, and there was one thing he told me that really stuck in my mind. The technology on this bridge, he said, means it should never, ever have to close because of the weather.

We now know, obviously, that Mr Climie was wrong. Last Monday, the crossing was closed after cars were hit by ice blowing off the support cables and as soon as it happened icicles started crashing down on the Scottish Government too. How could they let this happen? Why was the bridge failing? It later emerged the sensors to detect ice had failed to work, which was something for people to think about in the 90 minutes it took to make the detour round the bridge.

The Tories were particularly loud in their criticism. Their leader Jackson Carlaw said the closure was a damning indictment of the Scottish Government, but considering Mr Carlaw was convener of the group that decided on the design of the bridge, what he appeared to be doing was damningly indicting himself. Yes, the closure was frustrating – I’ve been stuck in detours round the Forth Bridge a few times and it’s hideous – but the criticism was over-the-top. It also missed what’s really going on with the Queensferry Crossing.

For a start, we should remember the crossing was good value for money as a building project of its kind. The estimate of £3-4bn was brought down to £1.3bn thanks partly to the fact the old road bridge remains open for some traffic. The project was also delivered just 10 weeks over, which, according to Mr Climie, was like building an extension on your house and it being delayed by two hours.

The reason for the delay in finishing the project was, of course, the weather. And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We have lots of bad weather in Scotland and, all things considered, the Queensferry Crossing has done well in withstanding it. The old road bridge was regularly closed due to high winds but the nifty new 4m-high wind shields Mr Climie was so pleased about on Day One have done their job.

In retrospect of course, Mr Climie shouldn’t have boasted about the bridge never having to close due to the weather because it was always a risk. No matter how much you plan, a big building project in Scotland is going to come up against wind, and rain, and ice, but by the look of things, the operators have worked out what happened this week and can reduce the chances of it happening again. There’s also a good, all-year maintenance programme in place to look after the crossing. It costs about £6m a year. Good value, I’d say.

What worries me much more than the costs of the bridge is that nobody seems to be paying attention to what’s really going on with it at a deeper level. It was designed to help ease congestion and to make things easier for commuters, but in the 12 months to October 2019, one million extra journeys were made over the bridge compared to the same period the previous year – a rise of 3.9 per cent. It hasn’t eased congestion, it’s made it worse.

Some of this may be down to the weather (again). In the old days, the road bridge would occasionally be closed because of the wind, whereas the new bridge has never been closed for that reason, therefore there will be more days when cars can get across, and consequently an overall increase in car numbers.

However, most of the increase in traffic will be down to the old rule of transport that we’ve seen working over and over again: if you build more roads, bridges and motorways, more cars will fill them. Effectively, someone who might have taken the train or bus will think “there’s a new bridge now, traffic must be better, I’ll take the car” and it gets as bad as it ever was. In fact, it already has: at peak times, there is more traffic on the Queensferry Crossing than it can cope with.

However, instead of talking about problems like this, which are profound and existential, we’re talking about temporary problems such as ice detectors, which can presumably be improved and made to work. At some point, a minister – a very courageous minister – is going to have to say what is currently unsayable: we shouldn’t be opening bridges, roads and motorways, we should be closing them down and introducing new public transport instead. Maybe that way, drivers will be forced to change. Maybe that way we’ll realise that road bridges, even spanking, shiny, unreliable new ones like the Queensferry Crossing, are not the answer.