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Glasgow Motorway Timeline

Development of the Greater Glasgow motorway network can be traced back to the mid 1940s. In the eighty or so years since there have been numerous milestones with the construction of the M8, Erskine Bridge and Clyde Tunnel to name a few.

 

To provide a summary of these key dates we have created this timeline page. Its aim: to provide a quick reference point for those looking for specific scheme dates or information on specific events. Links to relevant pages are highlighted bold where present, and photos and other media are also included.

LAST UPDATED: 24th January 2017     By: Stuart Baird

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1945

1946

In March 1945 Robert Bruce's "First Planning Report" is published by Glasgow Corporation. Among its many recommendations are plans for a tunnel beneath the River Clyde and an Inner Ring Road of the city centre.

Sir Patrick Abercrombie's "Clyde Valley Regional Plan" is published. The first study of its kind in Scotland, the report considered a range of issues including agriculture, housing & transportation. It recommended the new towns of East Kilbride & Cumbernauld. Sir Patrick was a respected town planner.

1954

Study into an A74 bypass of Larkhall, Hamilton and Uddingston concludes a northern corridor would be preferred.

1956

April 1st - Responsibility for roads, bridges and ferries handed to the Secretary of State for Scotland & the Scottish Office for the first time.

1960

Quinquennial review of Glasgow's development plan results in proposals for urban renewal through comprehensive redevelopment. A new network of highways, including an inner ring of the city centre are included having been in development throughout the 1950s.

 

Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick appointed by Glasgow Corporation to develop a definitive design for the inner ring road "as a matter of urgency".

1957

1st July - Work commences on the Clyde Tunnel project. The tunnel had been approved in March 1948.

A traffic study centered on the Hamilton area is initiated by Lanark County Council and the Scottish Development Department.

 

The study concludes that up 80,000 vehicle per day will be using the A74 by 1980 and that the approved bypass of Larkhall, Hamilton and Uddingston should be built as a Special Road Motorway. Consultants Babtie, Shaw & Morton are appointed to take forward a detailed design.

In Lanarkshire, works to "grade-separate" the junctions of the A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse get underway. These are completed in 1962.

 

A diversion of the A80 around Cumbernauld and to Castlecary is taken forward by the Scottish Development Department. The works, which included dualling and grade-separation of the route, are completed in late 1963.

In Glasgow, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick carries out a series of traffic studies and roadside interviews as part of their Inner Ring Road design process. A series of alternative routes are also developed and considered.

1961

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1962

Draft schemes published for M74 Hamilton Bypass and M8 Harthill Bypass. Investigations into routes for M73 and M8 Renfrew Bypass begin. Decision taken to construct full length of A8 replacement to motorway standard.

 

Interim Report on the Glasgow Inner Ring Road published by Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick. The report, which detailed the design of the ring road and a number of other radial routes, is presented to Glasgow Corporation and almost immediately accepted.

1963

Erskine Bridge Joint Committee formed by Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire County Councils.

 

Landowner objections result in delay to start of construction on M74 Hamilton Bypass.

 

Construction of M8 Harthill Bypass begins.

 

3rd July - Clyde Tunnel west tunnel opened to traffic by HM the Queen. The project is several months late due to a number of engineering difficulties.

1964

23rd March - Clyde Tunnel east tunnel completed

 

5th June - Construction begins on Stage 1 of the M74 Larkhall-Hamilton-Uddingston Bypass. Contractor is Christiani-Shand

 

November 20th - Around 4 miles of M8 Harthill Bypass completed and opened to traffic. Final mile (at western end of the project) completed in 1965.

Construction begins on Stage 2 of the Larkhall-Hamilton-Uddingston Bypass with the award of a contract to Tarmac Civil Engineering.

 

Construction begins on the M8 West of Harthill to Newhouse scheme with the award of a contract to Whatlings Civil Engineering.

 

June - Construction begins on Clyde Tunnel South Approach contract.

 

October - Work begins on the M8 Renfrew Bypass with the award of a £5 million contract to a Peter Lind/Marples Ridgeway JV.

 

Greater Glasgow Transportation Study begins. Steering committee comprising members from surrounding local authorities formed.

June - Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick publish "A Highway Plan for Glasgow". The plan, which expands on the earlier Interim Report, recommends a system of highways to built over a period of 30 years. Major recommendations include the Maryhill and Ayr Motorways in addition to more detailed proposals for the Renfrew and Monkland routes.

 

November/December - Scottish Office & Glasgow Corporation award contract for construction of first stage of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road to Marples Ridgeway. Works begin on the Townhead Stage 1 scheme which is increased in scope to include Woodside Stage 1 due to lower than anticipated tender returns.  

1965

1966

December 2nd - Stage 1 of the M74 Larkhall-Hamilton-Uddingston Bypass completed and opened to traffic. This completes the route between the modern day junctions 6 and 9.

 

December 14th - a 75% grant towards the construction of the Kingston Bridge section of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road is authorised by the Secretary of State for Scotland.

1967

March - Construction begins on Clyde Tunnel North Approach contract.

 

April - Greater Glasgow Transportation Study (Volumes 1&2) published and presented to Steering Committee.

 

May 15th - Construction works begins on Kingston Bridge contract of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road.

 

June 6th - Work commences on Erskine Bridge and Bishopton Bypass Stage 1.

 

August 24th - M8 Harthill to Newhouse scheme completed and opened to traffic.

 

November - Construction completed on Clyde Tunnel South Approach contract.

March 18th - M8 Renfrew Bypass opens to traffic. The £5 million scheme was the first section of M8 to be completed in the west of Scotland.

 

April 8th - Townhead Interchange & Woodside Stage 1 section of the north flank of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road opens to traffic.

May 3rd - First section of Stage 2 of the M74 Larkhall-Hamilton-Uddingston Bypass completed and opened to traffic. This completed the section betwen Hamilton and Raith Interchange.

 

2nd August - Second section of Stage 2 of the M74 Larkhall-Hamilton-Uddingston Bypass completed. This completed the section between Raith Interchange and Maryville providing a continuous motorway from the Glasgow boundary to Blackwood.

1968

1959

Proposals for a high level bridge at Erskine passed to Scottish Office by Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire County Councils.

1969

January - Work commences on the Woodside Stage 2 contract of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road.

 

March - Construction begins on the M73 Maryville to Mollinsburn link.

 

April 9th - Clyde Tunnel North Approach scheme completed and opened to traffic.

 

Summer - Construction begins on the Charing Cross section of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road.

1970

June 26th - M8 Inner Ring Road - Kingston Bridge and Approaches officially opened by HRH The Queen Mother

 

Works to install SOS Telephones on the sections of M8 motorway already open to traffic begins.

 

December 27th - M8 Bishopton Bypass Stage 1 and M898 Erskine Bridge South Approach Roads completed and opened to traffic.

1971

March - Construction begins on Clydeside Expressway

 

May 7th - Woodside Stage 2 section of M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road completed and opened to traffic.

 

May 19th - M73 J1-2 (Maryville to Baillieston Interchange) completed and opened to traffic.

 

July 2nd - Erskine Bridge completed and opened to traffic by HRH Princess Anne

 

Summer - Central reservation barriers installed on three mile stretch of the M8 Renfrew Bypass due to traffic flows. This was a first in Scotland.

 

November 2nd - M8 Monkland Motorway Stage 1 approved by Secretary of State for Scotland Gordon Campbell.

1972

February 4th - M8 Inner Ring Road - Charing Cross section completed and opened to traffic. North & West Flanks of Inner Ring Road completed.

 

April 10th - M73 J2-3 (Baillieston Interchange to Mollinsburn) completed and opened to traffic providing alternative to A73.

 

 

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1973

April - Secretary of State announces A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse will be upgraded to motorway and be built with three lanes in each direction.

 

April 27th - Clydeside Expressway completed and open to traffic.

 

September 17th - Construction commences on Stage 1 of the M8 Renfrew Motorway.

 

Autumn - Orders for Monkland Motorway Stage 2 published.

 

Official figures show that 14.9 million vehicles used the Clyde Tunnel, whilst only 2.2 million used the Erskine Bridge.

 

Construction commences on M8 Monkland Motorway Stage 1.

1974

January 8th - Construction commences on Stage 2 of the M8 Renfrew Motorway.

1975

May 16th - Strathclyde Regional Council created. Replaces Corporation of City of Glasgow as Roads Authority with responsibility for non-trunk motorways within city boundary. Counties of Lanark, Renfrew and Dumbarton also abolished.

 

May 30th - M8 Monkland Motorway Stage 1 completed and open to traffic.

 

November 18th - Stage 2 of M8 Bishopton Bypass completed and open to traffic.