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In pictures: Pedestrians take over new Queensferry Crossing

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined thousands of ticket holders to cross the Forth between Edinburgh and Fife.

Tens of thousands of people have walked the Queensferry Crossing in a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to cross the new Forth bridge on foot.

The £1.35 billion structure has been taken over by pedestrians for the weekend before being officially opened by the Queen on Monday.

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Over Saturday and Sunday, 50,000 of those lucky enough to secure tickets in a public ballot are due to walk across the structure that links Edinburgh and Fife.

( Jane Barlow/PA)

The first of those to make the journey set off under blue skies at 9am led by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

( Jane Barlow/PA)

One of the first to cross from north to south was 16-year-old Morgan Lewis-Wilson, one of three generations of his family from East Lothian who were taking part in the experience.

He said: “I ran the second half and I was one of the first people to finish north to south. It was a really amazing atmosphere coming in first with the saltire over my shoulders. It was just brilliant.”

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Shauna Killen, 45, from Anstruther, Fife, who was taking part with her family, said: “It was absolutely fantastic, I got quite emotional coming across it. It was wonderful and I’m really pleased to have done it.

“I applied for the kids really; it was just so amazing to watch it being built over the last few years and just to be a part of it today was a once-in-a-lifetime experience so hopefully they will remember it for a long time.”

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Sue Logan-Bury, 70, from Cupar, Fife, said: “It was an amazing experience to know that you were one of the first to be able to go across and that only 50,000 people will ever walk it, apart from the men who built it.

“The atmosphere was very upbeat, very happy, everybody was talking to everybody else and just chatting about the views and the amazing structure and the weather. It was great.”

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Cilla and Graham Ferguson, from Dalgety Bay, Fife, dressed up as Toy Story’s Woody and Jessie for the occasion to raise awareness for brittle bone disease, which their granddaughter suffers from.

Mrs Ferguson, 66, said: “What an achievement, what a once-in-a-lifetime, awesome thing to do.”

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Also raising awareness for the disease were Wilma Lawrie, 57, from Edinburgh, and Yvonne Grant, 56, from Dundee, who both crossed in wheelchairs as part of a four-person team fundraising for the Brittle Bone Society.

“It’s a great privilege and honour to be walking or wheeling for the 5,000 members here in the UK,” said Ms Grant.

( Jane Barlow/PA)

Marnie Collin, 47, from Edinburgh, who was joined by her partner Gordon Little, 45 and children Isaac, six months, and Lily, five, said: “I work in Fife and so every day I’ve been seeing it going up bit by bit and it just feels like a really incredible chance to do something that we’ll never be able to do again so we were really excited to get the tickets.”

The chance to walk the 1.7-mile bridge has been described as a "once in a lifetime experience'' (Jane Barlow/PA)

The ballot for the crossing experience attracted almost 250,000 entries. Local schools and community groups will be allowed to walk over the 1.7-mile (2.7km) structure on Tuesday before it closes to pedestrians.

The crossing will remain closed to traffic until Thursday, with vehicles re-directed back to the Forth Road Bridge during this time.

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