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Forth Road Bridge

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Forth Road Bridge
Drochaid Fhorthe
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (81)
From:  Queensferry
To:  North Queensferry
West Lothian • Fife
Highway Authority
Transport Scotland
Opening Date
Free. Toll abolished 2008
Additional Information
List No:  LB47778  (Cat A)
Bridge Type:  Suspension Bridge
Length:  2500m (8202 ft 1 in)
Max Span:  1006m (3300 ft 6 in)
On road(s)

The Forth Road Bridge was the second crossing of the Firth of Forth (after the "Forth Bridge", the iconic railway bridge). The suspension bridge opened in 1964 and was the A90 until the Queensferry Crossing opened in 2017. It is currently the A9000 and has been retained for use by buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians.


It was opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth on 4 September 1964 and was a toll bridge until this was abolished by the Scottish Executive in 2008. It was a vitally important link between Edinburgh and Fife for both commercial and commuter traffic. The footpaths and cycle tracks were completed in January 1965.


Plans for a crossing had been around since the 1920s. J Inglis Ker had advanced a proposal in 1924 for a road bridge between North and South Queensferry with an estimated cost of £3.5m. Proponents pointed to projects such as the 1595 feet (486 m) Brooklyn Bridge in the USA, and noted the benefits for Scottish steel and other industries.

The Joint Committee of Inquiry on the Forth River Crossings reported in 1933 after 3 years of deliberation, recommending either a new bridge or substantial improvements to the ferry. It suggested a bridge at a location similar to the current one, from either Port Edgar or South Queensferry to North Queensferry. It estimated a cost of £6m, of which £4m would be paid for by the reduction in unemployment benefits to workers contracted on the bridge. A toll of 1 shilling was suggested, with an expected 6000-8000 vehicles per day.

In 1935 a civil engineer called Leitch suggested a suspension bridge with two 2400 ft spans centred on Inchgarvie, just to the east of the rail bridge. In 1936 the Transport Ministry rejected proposals for a bridge at Queensferry; the Scotsman newspaper included detailed discussions, reporting an expected traffic flows of 2000 vehicles a day and a planned toll of 3 shillings per crossing. Meanwhile, the Kincardine Bridge was built further upriver, opening in 1936.

The inauguration ceremony for the start of construction was on 21 November 1958. It was then expected to take 5 years to build with an estimated cost of £16 million.

The Figures

  • Span - 3,300 feet, the longest span in Europe when opened
  • Total length - 1.5 miles
  • Towers - the two main towers are about 500 feet high
  • Cable length - each cable is 7000 feet long
  • Cable weight - 8,000 tons
  • Wires - 11,618 parallel wires and enough to go round the world 1.25 times
  • Cost - £20 million
  • Approach Roads - 6.44 miles from North and 4.87 miles from South


Following concerns about the bridge's longevity and the need for increasingly disruptive maintenance the Forth Replacement Crossing project built a replacement bridge along with new approach roads, which opened in 2017.


Despite having been replaced by the Queensferry Crossing for the majority of traffic, the Forth Road Bridge remains the Primary Destination at present.

Route To Notes


Dunfermline, Perth


Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh, Airport Spur to M9 J1a. Replaced the highly congested A8000.


Dunfermline (A823)




Kirkcaldy, Tay Bridge, Dundee


Rosyth Ferry terminal to Zeebrugge


M90(N), Inverkeithing, Rosyth Restricted traffic


M90(S), South Queensferry, Edinburgh Restricted Traffic


Queensferry, Bo'Ness




Glasgow, Airport Spur to M9 J1a. Replaced the highly congested A8000.


Glasgow (M8), (M9), Airport



Forth Road Bridge
NCN1 • A90 • A92 • A823(M) • A904 • A921 • A985 • A8000 • A9000 • B800 • B907 • B924 • B980 • B981 • E15 • E32 (Old System) • EuroVelo 12 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • Forth Valley Tourist Route • M9 • M90 • T93 (Britain)
Related Pictures
View gallery (81)
A8000 - Coppermine - 6030.jpgForth-br.jpgA90 Forth Bridge - Coppermine - 16856.jpgA90 - Coppermine - 6932.jpgBigLPOTMIMG 3503.jpg
Crossings of the River Forth & Teith
River ForthCobleland Bridge • A81 Forth Bridge • Cardross Bridge • Poldar Bridge • Bridge of Frew • Gargunnock Bridge • Drip Bridge • M9 Forth Bridge • Stirling Bridges • Taylorton Bridge • Clackmannanshire Bridge • Kincardine Bridge • Queensferry Crossing • Forth Road Bridge
River TeithKilmahog Bridge • Callander Bridge • Doune Bridge
Allan WaterKinbuck Bridge • Dunblane Bridge • Bridge of Allan

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