A date has been set to bring people together to see one of Scotland’s latest feats of engineering being officially opened.
Stockingfield Bridge, a £14m active travel bridge built over the Forth & Clyde Canal in North Glasgow, will be celebrated on Saturday, December 3, as the bridge connects three communities, Ruchill, Maryhill and Gilshochill, for the first time in 232 years.
The new connection will also provide a near continuous off-road link for travellers between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Residents and active travellers will take to the canals towpath to mark the moment the new destination is officially opened.
The event will see people arrive by bike, boot and boat to the stunning steel structure where for the first time the Stockingfield Spire will be lit up into the night. A procession will take place from four areas around the active travel bridge representing the joining of communities for the first time since the canal was opened in 1790.
The procession led by Glasgow-based art group, Carnival Arts, will see a light show like never before with lanterns being made by the community that highlight the fauna and flora of the Forth & Clyde Canal and their communities. In addition, lanterns will be fitted to standard and non-standard bikes to showcase the accessibility of the bridge.
“14 years after we first developed the concept with the local community, we are delighted to be able to open this amazing new bridge to the public. Not only will it transform the active travel routes to the city centre and the West End for both local people and users of the national cycle network it has also helped to create place transforming vacant and derelict land into an attractive parkland full of community spirit through the numerous artworks, creating a destination and a place of deep community ownership and pride”. - Scottish Canals, Chief Operating Officer, Richard Millar
Community engagement has been at the heart of the project with locals shaping the structures surroundings through artwork. In total 9 pieces are being installed on site from a 121-metre mythical serpent called a Beithir in Gaelic folklore, to interpretation boards exploring the area’s past and present.
“Stockingfield Bridge is a remarkable achievement for all those involved, none more so than the local communities that helped make it a reality and who will feel the real benefits of it. We are excited to see this truly iconic structure opening to the public for the very first time and are confident it will secure status as a beacon of accessible active travel on the Glasgow skyline for years to come.” - Sustrans Scotland Director, Karen McGregor
The stunning steel structure which now shapes North Glasgow’s skyline is a feat of engineering which has turned heads around the globe. Engineers working on the project had to maintain navigation on the canal which has the same heritage status of the likes of Edinburgh Castle. This was not the only challenge as over 400 tonnes of Ukrainian steel had to be brought to North Glasgow from Leeds in 17 separate pieces.
“The rebirth of Glasgow’s Canal in recent years has been instrumental in the ongoing and long overdue transformation of the north of the city. It is Glasgow’s other waterfront, making nature more accessible to tens of thousands of nearby residents, improving health and well-being and the look and feel of communities. The opening of Stockingfield Bridge is a milestone in that journey, a new landmark for North Glasgow.” - Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council
The national infrastructure project and associated artworks have been funded by Transport Scotland trhough Sustrans Places for Everyone programme, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council’s Vacant Derelict Land Fund and SCAPE.
Anyone wanting to get involved in the procession are encouraged to follow Scottish Canals on social media where a full route map and details of how to get involved can be found.
For further information, please contact:
Scott Lamond at Scottish Canals on 07976524446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eve Leeks at Sustrans on 07490 285 341 or email email@example.com
Paul Kane at Glasgow City Council on 07766 802811 or email Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
About Stockingfield Bridge
- Stockingfield Bridge completes the last remaining link along the canal towpath in North Glasgow, connects the three communities to National Cycle Network Route 754; an almost completely traffic-free walking, wheeling and cycling route between Glasgow, Falkirk, Edinburgh and Bowling.
- The bridge was designed by engineering specialists Jacobs and built by Balfour Beatty
About Scottish Canals
- Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five of Scotland’s canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.
- Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles
- Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas
- The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 20 million visits per year. See www.scottishcanals.co.uk for more information
- Sustrans is the charity making it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle. We connect people and places, create liveable neighbourhoods, transform the school run and deliver a happier, healthier commute. Join us on our journey. www.sustrans.org.uk
- Funded by Scottish Government, Places For Everyone provides advice, support and funding for the creation of infrastructure for safe, attractive and healthier places by increasing the number of trips made by walking, cycling and wheeling. www.showcase-sustrans.org.uk/
- The National Cycle Network in Scotland is a network of walking, wheeling and cycling routes. There are approximately 1,643 miles (2,644 km) of National Cycle Network routes in Scotland, including 702 miles of traffic-free routes which use a mix of railway path, canal towpath, forest road, shared-use path, segregated cycle lanes and re-determined rural footways. Sustrans receives yearly funding from Transport Scotland for the development and improvement of National Cycle Network routes in Scotland.