Footbridge over Forth and Clyde Canal given green light

Scottish Canals will erect the bridge near Maryhill as it looks to connect communities and town centres.

Footbridge over Forth and Clyde Canal given green light
Green light: The plans to build a bridge over the Forth and Clyde Canal have been given the green light.

Plans to build a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow have been given the green light.

Scottish Canals will erect the bridge at Stockingfield Junction on Lochburn Road, near Maryhill, as it looks to connect communities to town centres and encourage active travel.

The public body in charge of Scotland’s five canals also wants to provide safer routes to facilities and schools by reducing exposure to traffic.

This bridge plan replaces a project commissioned in 2008, which saw a team including Kelpies sculptor Andy Scott come up with a design.

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Due to funding issues, that proposal did not progress to full planning.

The new scheme has been “refined to place greater emphasis upon the connectivity of the north, west and Ruchill embankments whilst creating a destination setting upon the Ruchill area of the canal”, a planning report stated.

It added: “The new crossing will allow pedestrians, runners, cyclists and people making every day journeys along the canal to cross over the canal rather than having to negotiate the existing Lochburn Road footways under the canal aqueduct which are sub-standard and potentially hazardous.”

Night view: The bridge design
Night view: The bridge design

Scottish Canals hopes another benefit of the scheme will be an open-air space for the Gilshochill, Ruchill and Maryhill communities, in addition to towpath and canal users, to enjoy.

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“The purpose of the crossing is to reconnect the existing towpath that was severed following the construction of the Bowling branch of the canal in the late 18th Century,” the planning statement added.

“The bridge structure has evolved from the previous submission due to economic constraints and feedback from local communities.

“The sculpture element has been removed and a less imposing but fully integrated pylon observation deck designed to promote enhanced active travel of the canal, towpaths and the site was developed.”

This bridge has been designed in discussion with Historic Environment Scotland to avoid impact on the canal, described an “industrial monument of national importance”.

The canal was reopened in 2002 through the Millennium Link Project, which included The Falkirk Wheel.

“Since then Scottish Canals has worked with its partners to promote and enhance the canal corridor,” the report stated.

“As intended, popularity has increased year on year with over one million visits last year.”

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Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands