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Welcome to the Glasgow Motorway Archive

The Glasgow Motorway Archive is an educational website dedicated to the history and construction of the motorways and major trunk roads of Glasgow. Construction of the motorway system was a considerable engineering achievement which transformed travel across the region. Today, Glasgow has more miles of urban motorway than any other UK city.


Major subject areas include the planning of the system, the routes constructed and developments in the decades since. Other features include a timeline, a media gallery and a consideration of the schemes that were cancelled. Details of newly published articles can be found below. The site gives special thanks to Mr John M Cullen for his assistance, encouragement and friendship.

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NEW Page: M74 Hamilton Bypass - Celebrating 50th Years!


The Hamilton Bypass was the first part of the M74 motorway to be completed, and one of Scotland's first motorways. Bypassing some of Lanarkshire's biggest towns, the route transformed travel across the county.


On December 2nd 1966 Stage 1 was opened to traffic. In celebration of its 50th anniversary we have launched a new page dedicated to the project. The page provides information on the planning and construction of the route and features many interesting facts and figures unearthed as part of our research.


The article is filled with many long hidden photos which we are sure you'll agree are pretty special! Let us know your thoughts on the Facebook or Twitter pages!

Our Contribution to BBC Scotland's "Scotland at Work" Series


UPDATED Page: M8 Renfrew Bypass


The M8 Renfrew Bypass page has been extensively updated and now includes over 100 exclusive construction photos and key project dates.


The new photos and info have been supplied by Mr Barrie Old, a retired civil engineer who worked on the project from 1965 to 1967. Barrie worked for Peter Lind, the contractor responsible for the construction of Stage 1 of the project. It opened to traffic in March 1968.


We thank Barrie for his time and effort in getting the photos to us and for keeping such a detailed diary at the time. We are sure you will be impressed with the detail and enjoy his very rare photographs.


Get In Touch

Special Thanks

The site wishes to thank all those who have assisted with the supply of reports, plans, photos and various other items.


Special thanks must go to Mr John M Cullen for encouragement and archive materials, and to Mr Alaister Walker for access to photographs, slides and opening booklets!

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There are a number of ways in which you can get in touch with the site:

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The site is happy to provide research services to those interested in subjects such as the planning and construction of M8 or any of the other motorways in the Glasgow area. In recent months we have provided assistance to major contractors, consultants, PhD students around the world and documentary makers at a number of production companies.


We have an array of plans, reports, drawings and photographs dating from 1946 to the present day. These were produced for Local Authorities, Transport Executives and Central Government. If you are a student carrying out research, or a production assistant looking for information, please feel free to get in touch.


All requests for information should be made via the About Us page in the first instance. We aim to respond as quickly as possible.

The Glasgow Motorway Archive seeks to provide a comprehensive educational resource that is both accurate and trusted. Glasgow has more miles of urban motorway than the combined total of all other UK cities and the story of how this came to be is of interest to many. The project was a considerable feat of civil engineering and by far the largest project in the city since the construction of the railways in the 19th Century. Unlike the motorways in other parts of the UK, Glasgow’s road system has had little in the way of online coverage. The network has many other interesting features that are unique in a UK context. The website is not connected to any public bodies such as Transport Scotland and is run on a not for profit basis.


Our research has unearthed many facts, figures, plans and photos that have been out of general circulation for many years. The physical archive continues to grow and it is our aim to share as many items from it as possible. We do, for example, share many new photos via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.


Published articles are generally free from opinion and impartial. Where we give an opinion on a particular subject we separate it from the main text and highlight it as such. The Glasgow Motorway Archive is neither pro, nor anti-road, and does not become involved in campaigns. Comments and general feedback are welcome and we hope you find the site to be of interest.

Make a Donation

The Glasgow Motorway Archive is run as a not-for-profit organisation and depends on donations to pay for site hosting costs and software subscriptions.


Want to ensure we remain online? Click below and donate what you can!

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A number of media organisations have been in touch recently regarding the 50th anniversary of the start of construction of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road.


In April this year we were featured in BBC Scotland's "Scotland at Work" series. Episode one covered the subject of transportation in Scotland and we were delighted to be able to make a contribution. The series was produced by Mentorn Media and we very much enjoyed the experience. Our part on the programme can be watched on the player opposite. Last autumn was also made contributions to BBC Reporting Scotland and STV News. We are always happy to help media organisations with any M8 or Glasgow motorway related enquiries so please get in touch if we can assist!

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M8 Baillieston to Newhouse Completed

DATE: 30th April 2017     BY: STUART BAIRD

On April 30th, the final section of M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh opened to traffic completing the motorway between the two cities.


Work to construct the six mile stretch between Baillieston and Newhouse began in 2014, having spent decades in the development stage. At least two previous schemes were proposed, one in 1988 and another in 1995.


The completed link is sure to provide considerable relief to traffic with journey time savings of up to 20 minutes expected at peak times. The A8 has been retained as an adjacent all-purpose road and caters for local traffic travelling across North Lanarkshire. Our Baillieston to Newhouse page will be updated soon!

Mission Statement

Research Services

Latest Articles & Site Updates

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