The infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Glasgow has today, 8th July, finally become the Bridge to Everywhere. Left straddling the M8 since the 1970s, the bridge has now been completed as part of a UK wide programme to make it easier for millions of people to walk and cycle every day.
Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, has been delivering the “Connect2” programme across the UK after being awarded £50million from the Big Lottery Fund’s “Living Landmarks: The People’s Millions” in 2007. The Bridge to Nowhere in Glasgow is one of the final projects to be completed as part of the programme. Sustrans has worked in partnership with Glasgow City Council to ensure its successful delivery, to time and to budget.
“ After more than forty years as the Bridge to Nowhere, it is brilliant news that this infamous landmark has finally been completed and will serve as a vital link in Glasgow’s network of walking and cycling routes ”
The bridge was left quite literally hanging in midair since the 1970s after the shopping centre that it was supposed to link to failed to materialise. Its completion now forms a vital link in Glasgow’s network of walking and cycling routes, linking Central Station to the Forth & Clyde Canal through Kelvingrove Park, to the River Clyde and to Pacific Quay via Bell’s Bridge. Importantly, it also provides a safe route for the community of Anderston to access the city centre.
The bridge was officially opened today by John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, Neil Ritch, Deputy Director for the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland, Councillor Archie Graham, the Council’s spokesman for the Commonwealth Games and Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans.
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland said:
“Sustrans Scotland is delighted that this bridge across the M8 has now been completed, thereby giving people travelling on foot and by bike a safe route across one of the busiest roads in the country. For a long time the Anderston area has been quite cut off from the city centre but thanks to the opening of the Bridge to Everywhere this is no longer the case.
“People will now be able to commute to work, travel to school, go into town and visit friends and family on foot or by bike by using the bridge and the wider network of paths which link to it. We believe that the bridge will be extremely popular and well used in the years to come.”
Neil Ritch, the Deputy Director for the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland said:
“We’re proud to be able to support this iconic project with funding from the National Lottery. It’s an important link in this national project which is connecting up the country to enable more people to get on their bikes, and supporting communities to become greener and healthier.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said:
“It’s fantastic that the famous Bridge to Nowhere has finally been completed. Route 756 of the National Cycle Network will now allow cyclists and walkers to get where they want to go safely under their own steam between Anderston and the city centre.
“The new route will, I’m sure, be a vital link in the city’s transport infrastructure. I hope it will encourage even more Glaswegians to take up cycling and form a lasting legacy following the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The National Cycle Route already runs from Kelvingrove Park to Anderston and this final link will be the jewel in the crown.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“After more than forty years as the Bridge to Nowhere, it is brilliant news that this infamous landmark has finally been completed and will serve as a vital link in Glasgow’s network of walking and cycling routes. Importantly, it also provides a safe route for the community of Anderston to access the city centre and it will form part of the legacy from the Commonwealth Games.
“Road safety considerations are a barrier for many people who might be considering cycling for everyday travel however this new route will help remove that barrier and I hope to see cycling increase in this part of Glasgow in the coming months.
“The Scottish Government is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure, training and road safety projects through active partnerships with charities such as Sustrans to make Scotland a more active and healthy nation and increase the numbers of people choosing to cycle each day.”
Stephen Scott, Managing Director of Raynesway Construction, said:
“We are delighted to have delivered this contract for Glasgow City Council. Anderston Footbridge has stood unfinished for a long time so it is a real honour to complete the missing link and a little piece of Glasgow’s history. It was an interesting engineering project, operating in a tight city environment and working in an enclosed gantry over the M8 while it remained open. We would like to thank the local community for their cooperation and patience during the construction works.”