Transport minister Derek Mackay has admitted that work cancelled on the Forth Road Bridge in 2010 would have replaced the faulty section that caused its closure.

Mr Mackay said that the replacement of the cracked section was originally part of work the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) intended to carry out on the bridge in 2010. However, the work was rescoped after concerns that it could result in a long closure of the bridge.

The Transport Minister told Good Morning Scotland: "The 2010 works would have seen the replacement of that area and much more.

"FETA would have been informed that other works would have addressed what was identified to be the problem and on that advice they rescoped the work.

"It was a much bigger job, beyond what they felt was proportional at the time, and it would have led to a much longer closure to carry out that extensive works. The advice they seem to have had at the time was that carrying out the strengthening works would remedy what they identified as the problem."

FETA had claimed that plans to replace the faulty section were dropped in 2010. However, Mr Mackay says FETA was in charge of maintenance at the bridge during this time, not the Scottish Government.

He added: "FETA believed on their engineering advice that very specific works on strengthening could be carried out to address some of the issues they had been identified and they had rescoped their own works and progressed with that.

"That's what the Scottish Government inherited and that's what we're getting on with. This problem was not predicted at the fault but we are remeding and we will get the bridge opened as soon as possible."

Mr Mackay announced that the bridge would be closed until the New Year last week after a crack was found.

Nicola Sturgeon was forced to deny claims yesterday that cuts to the Forth Bridge maintenance budget led to its closure after engineer John Carson said that plans to strengthen the bridge's truss and linkage system were put on hold five years ago.

MSPs are now calling for an investigation into the events that resulted in the bridge's closure.

Murdo Fraser MSP said: "The SNP are in government and the SNP have a majority in Parliament so if there's going to be a Parliamentary enquiry it needs to get the SNP to actually initiate that at a Parliamentary level and instruct their MPs to take that forward."