Tay Road Bridge
|Location Map ( geo)
|Newport on Tay
|Angus • Fife
|Free. Abolished 2008.
|Crossings related to the A92
Stretching across the Tay from Dundee in Angus to Newport-on-Tay in Fife, the Tay Bridge is approximately 1.5 miles long. However, while the bridge is long the alternative route via Perth is about 50 miles longer!
The bridge is dualled throughout, although as the bridge is now over 50 years old and road-standards have improved, it feels very narrow. Running in a straight line between two concrete walls about 7 m apart is quite bad enough, but when traffic is overtaking you it can be quite nervy for the unaccustomed driver!
The bridge replaced a series of ancient ferrys across the Firth of Tay from Fife to Angus, including the Newport-Dundee and Tayport-Broughty Ferry routes. By 1963, however, only the former route was operating, running a regular service from 7.00 to 22.00 on six days a week, and 10.00 to 20.00 or so on Sundays. The crossing took 15–20 minutes depending on the tide and could carry 16-40 cars (presumably there were two ferries running!). Fares for cars started at 5s 9d for a single, but included only the driver.
A bridge had long been discussed, going back to plans following the Tay Rail Bridge disaster of 1879: it was suggested that the stone piers of the collapsed crossing could be re-used for a road bridge. There had been more proposals in the 1930s, which were rejected as too expensive.
Exploratory works for the new bridge began in 1958. The engineer was William Fairhurst, who also designed the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow; it was built by Duncan Logan (Contractors) Ltd between 1963 and 1966. Construction required the demolition of the Royal Arch, built in the 1850s at Dundee harbour to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria; there was an initial attempt to dynamite the arch in 1962 but this was unsuccessful and it was brought down by less dramatic means the following year. The new bridge was opened on 18 August 1966, by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The central reservation for pedestrians came into use on 22 October 1966.
For many years drivers were charged a toll, latterly 80p for cars each way, £1.40 for buses, and £2 for goods vehicles. Tolls were abolished on 11 February 2008 as part of a general move to abolish payments for crossing Scottish road bridges.
- 7,365 foot (1.4 mile) long
- 42 spans
- 22 foot dual carriageways with 10 foot central reservation for pedestrians
- 1 in 81 gradient
- 3.6 miles of approach roads in Fife (from B946 at Sandford Hill)
- 0.75 miles of approach roads in Dundee
- £6.5 million cost
|Kirkcaldy, Forth Road Bridge Edinburgh
|Leuchars, St Andrews (A91)
|Tay Road Bridge