Carron Bridge (Speyside)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Banffshire • Moray|
At first glance the bridge at Carron is a very odd structure indeed. Whilst the bridge deck is clearly wide enough for two-way traffic, it is blocked off to form a single carriageway on the northern side of the bridge. So, is the structure dangerous? Has there been an accident? Does it carry a footway? Well, the last is true, but the full history is much more interesting!
The bridges main span is a magnificent Cast Iron arch of approximately 150 foot width. It springs from a pair of rough rubble stone abutments built on the very edge of the river banks, each of which has a floodwater arch behind before the land climbs steeply, but briefly, out of the Spey's flood channel.
The reason why this bridge has a blocked off carriageway is that it was built in 1863 as part of the Great North of Scotland Railways Strathspey line. Whether it replaced an earlier road bridge or a ferry crossing is not certain. Nor is it clear why the road wasn't made two-way when the railway closed, although the lack of traffic may have meant it was never deemed necessary. Today the bridge carries the road and the Strathspey Way which utilises the railway's half of the bridge!
It is perhaps interesting to consider that this bridge was completed nearly 40 years before the Connel Bridge on Scotland's west coast, which was also used to carry a road, but on a much narrower deck. Therefore with the closure of the railway line, the Connel Bridge is still only able to carry one-way traffic, controlled by traffic lights!
|Carron Bridge (Speyside)|