The Forth Road Bridge nearing completion in September 1963.The Forth Road Bridge nearing completion in September 1963.
The Forth Road Bridge nearing completion in September 1963.

Forth Road Bridge: These 28 amazing pictures from the 1960s show the construction and opening of one of Scotland's marvels of engineering

Up until 1964 those wanting to take their car between Edinburgh and Fife they were forced to rely on a centuries-old ferry service over the Forth Estuary.

The only other option was a long road trip to the Old Bridge in Stirling or, post 1936, the Kincardine Bridge.

That all changed in 1964 with the opening of the Forth Road Bridge, which was at the the time the longest suspension bridge in the world outside the United States of America.

Spanning the Firth of Forth between Queensferry and North Queensferry next to the Forth (railway) Bridge, opened in 1890, the two engineering feats created one of the most famous views in Scotland – even before they were joined by the new Queensferry Crossing in 2017.

It took more than four years to build from 39,000 tonnes of steel and 125,00 cubic metres of concrete. It spans over 2.5 kilometres and when first opened,

Originally it was a toll bridge, with a charge of £1 to cross in either direction in place until the levvy was scrapped by the Scottish Parliament in 2008.

At its peak it carried over 65,000 vehicles every day before it was partially retired on the completion of the Queensferry Crossing.

It is now used as a Public Transport Corridor by buses and taxis – along with pedestrians and cyclists – and occasionally brought back into use when its replacement is undergoing repair.

Here are 28 pictures of the construction and eventual opening of the bridge – along with the ferries it replaced.

Read more:

Edinburgh's Morningside: These 28 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s show the fascinating past of the residential neighbourhood

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