Scottish transport minister has announced that one of the most important bridges in Scotland in terms of trade traffic will reopen to all vehicles except HGVs from 6am on Wednesday.

The bridge was closed earlier this month after a 20mm crack was found in the steelwork.

This is much earlier than the date of 4th Jan for reopening given last week, which would have been exactly a month after it was closed.

Amey’s Mark Arndt said last week that their engineers were “working around the clock to get the bridge reopened to that timetable,” but suggested that the opening date in January was entirely dependent on weather.

Heavy goods vehicles will not be allowed to use the bridge and will be required to continue to use alternative routes indefinitely.

The transport minister said that interim repair work has now been completed, which has allowed the bridge to be reopened ahead of schedule.

The sheer scale of the chaos and crisis caused by the closure of the Forth Road Bridge has undoubtedly had a negative impact on Scottish Economy, among other problems. Since the closure, the surrounding roads have regularly seen tailbacks of up to 11 miles on diversion routes. Some 70,000 vehicles cross the bridge each week day prior to closing.

The full economic impact on the economy has not yet been assessed, but just a few years ago bridge management estimated the closure of just one carriageway cost the Scottish economy a staggering £650,000 a day.