Bridges On The Tyne


A new Scotswood Bridge finally replaced the old Scotswood Bridge known as the Chain Bridge and built in 1831. The old bridge was too narrow and although it had been reconstructed and widened before the war to save the cost of a completely new bridge, a plan for a replacement was drawn up for Durham and Northumberland County Councils and Newcastle City Council in 1941. In 1960 the Ministry Of Transport gave permission for a new bridge and this was commenced in 1964 and opened in 1967. The designers were Mott, Hay and Anderson and Mitchell Construction/Dorman Long constructed it. It is supported by two piers in the river, and is a short distance west of the old bridge. There are four lanes and it links Blaydon and the Derwent valley on the south side with Scotswood Road and the west end of Newcastle to the north. It also gives access to the nearby Metro Centre, the big shopping complex on the south bnk of the Tyne opened in 1986 and since extended to become Europe's largest. When the Gateshead Western by-pass was built in 1970, it led onto Scotswood Bridge but when the new Blaydon Bridge was opened in 1990 the road crossing no longer had trunk road status. Footpaths are provided at each side.

A box-girder bridge, concerns were soon raised after serious problems with similar bridges elsewhere and traffic was limited to single file between June 1971 and January 1974 while it was strengthened and more repairs were done in 1979-80 and in 1983 and 1991. It has never been popular owing to its somewhat plain design and frequent structural problems. Scotswood Road is now dual carriageway for most of its length and this must lead to increased traffic usage on the bridge.

 Scotswood Bridge Facts

Constructed - 1964-67
Type - arch, steel, with suspended box girder deck
Position: west end of Scotswood Road, 3 m west of city centre.
Grid Ref: NZ 195 636
 Scotswood Bridge

© Bridges On The Tyne 2006