TRAFFIC congestion around the Forth Road Bridge has soared since the abolition of tolls, according to new figures compiled by vehicle monitoring experts.
The figures will fuel the debate over the impact of road tolls on congestion, suggesting that charges do discourage drivers from using their cars. They also suggest that experts who told the Government last August that scrapping the tolls would worsen traffic congestion were correct.
The increase indicated that commuters and other travellers are now abandoning public transport and taking their vehicles into Edinburgh to take advantage of the falling cost.
"Congestion has increased since abolition of the tolls," said a spokesman. "It was thought that removing the tolls would speed up traffic but this does not seem to have been the case."