Listing bid as bridge hits a half century

Chris Ames

The fiftieth anniversary of Glasgow’s Kingston Bridge is being celebrated with a bid to get the structure listed as a structure of historic and architectural interest.

The famous landmark was opened by the Queen Mother exactly 50 years ago on 26 June 1970 following just over three years of construction at a cost of £11m – the equivalent of £180m today.

The bridge is 270m long, over 40m wide and crosses the River Clyde at a maximum height of almost 20m. Transport Scotland has now applied to Historic Environment Scotland to have it listed as a structure of historic and architectural interest.

Michael Matheson cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity said: ‘The Kingston Bridge has become an iconic landmark in Glasgow over the half century it’s been in operation.

‘The crossing played its part in taking a significant amount of traffic off the city centre streets and paved the way for the pedestrianisation of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. There is no doubt it continues to play a vital role, carrying around 155,000 vehicles a day.

‘The work that’s been carried out to ensure it continues to do this job in the future has also won civil engineering awards, so applying to have the Kingston Bridge listed seems a fitting way to mark its impact over the past 50 years.’

The Glasgow Motorway Archive in collaboration with Transport Scotland, is also releasing a number of previously unseen photos of the Kingston Bridge from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Stuart Baird from the Glasgow Motorway Archive said: ‘The Kingston Bridge was recognised as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Scotland at the time, and it’s had a huge impact in shaping the city over the last five decades.

‘Listing the bridge doesn’t simply acknowledge its unique engineering and architectural features, it also recognises the work of the people that designed, built and maintained it over its first half-century of service.'

Elizabeth McCrone, head of designations at Historic Environment Scotland, said: ‘The Kingston Bridge is a key part of Scotland’s first motorway and is one of the busiest road bridges in Europe.

‘We’d love to hear what the people of Scotland think about the proposal to recognise the Kingston Bridge as a listed structure and you can do this by going to our website and giving your views here.’

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