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What is the Glasgow Motorway Archive?

The Glasgow Motorway History Archive is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and collection of records associated with the history and construction of the motorways and major roads of Glasgow. As a conurbation, Glasgow has the most extensive urban motorway system of any UK city!


Our research has unearthed many facts, figures, plans and photos that have been out of general circulation for many years. The physical archive continues to grow and it is our aim to share as many items from it as possible.


Comments and feedback are welcome, and we hope you find the site to be of interest. The archive is not connected to any public bodies. We are currently seeking new members, please get in touch if interested.


Stuart is a professionally qualified civil engineer and is employed within the highway maintenance sector in Scotland. He founded the archive due to his interest in the history of the Glasgow and Scottish road networks.


Stuart continues to carry out extensive research, particularly into major routes, such as the M8 and M74 motorways, and the many unbuilt sections recommended in the Glasgow Highway Plan. His primary transport interests include bridges and highway structures, transport planning and policy making. Wider interests include politics, local government and public transport.


Stuart commissions and produces new articles and assists with research enquiries and technical queries. Stuart is responsible for the general design of the website and produces the majority of its graphics.


John has an enthusiasm for urban highways and has taken a particular interest in the planning and construction of Glasgow’s road network and its history. He is employed within the highway maintenance sector in Scotland.


His contributions to the archive began in early 2013 and he has assisted with the research, production and design of several articles on the Glasgow motorway system. These have included pages on the Clydeside Expressway, the M77, the M80 and the M8 Renfrew Bypass. He is interested in interchange layouts, road geometry and general Scottish motorway history.


John deals with routine site correspondance, publicity and research. He also keeps a close eye on current and future Scottish Government transportation projects such as the A9 & A96 dualling and A720 Sheriffhall grade-separation schemes.


Since 2014 we have had the pleasure of contributing to a number of documentaries, radio programmes and publications. We are always happy to tell the story of the Glasgow motorway system.


Our contributions to date include:


Television & Radio:

BBC Scotland News (TV & Radio) (October 2015)

STV News (November 2015)

STV Glasgow/UK Regional TV (January 2016)

BBC 2 Scotland - "Scotland at Work" (Series 2, Ep 1) (April 2016)

Discovery Networks/Quest TV - "Scrap Kings" (October 2017)

BBC One Scotland - "A Storm That Saved a City" (January 2018)

BBC One Scotland - "Scotland from the Sky" (May 2018)

BBC One Scotland - "Landward" Episode 6 (May 2018)

STV News (December 2018)

BBC Scotland News (Online & TV) (December 2018)



Print & Online:

The Herald (2014, 2016)

Glasgow Evening Times (2015, 2016, 2017)

The Scotsman (2015, 2016, 2017)

Daily Record (2016)

Hamilton Advertiser (2016)

Edinburgh Evening News (2017)

The Guardian (2018)

Scottish Field Magazine (2018)

Scottish Sun (2018)

Glasgow Live (2018)

The Glasgow Motorway Archive wishes to express its thanks to the following for their support and assistance:


Mr Barrie Old

Mr Alaister Walker

Mr Bob McGowan

Mr Malcolm Munro

Mr Iain MacNab

Professor Urlan Wannop

Mr Andrew Tallach

Mr Thomas Hernon


Merson ASG

Transport Scotland

Glasgow City Council

Renfrewshire Council

North Lanarkshire Heritage

Interlink M74 JV

Scottish Roads Partnership

The Glasgow Motorway Archive aims to provide detailed and accurate information on the history and construction of the motorways and trunk roads of the Glasgow area. We are happy to accept research requests from anyone with an interest in the subject.


Whether you are a student completing a final year project, or a production assistant looking for information for a documentary, we strive to provide you with as much information as you need. We may also license some of our photographs and diagrams for educational use.


In recent years the site has made contributions to BBC Scotland, STV, national & local newspapers as well as colleges and universities. We have access to a considerable number of reports, plans and photographs which have been unearthed over many years. The list below details some of the main items contained within the archive. If what you are looking for isn't on the list, we probably know where you can find a copy.


In the first instance all requests for information should be sent to our main email address: [email protected]


Please provide details of who you are, what you are looking for and for what purpose. We will generally respond to all queries within 48 hours although if some research is required, we may need more time.


If you have any old documents, reports or photographs we would love to see them! We are always on the lookout for new material so please get in touch if you have anything you would like to share.


GMA Management Committee & Contributors


Wojciech is a qualified town planner and is employed within the planning sector in Scotland. He is a graduate of the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow. He became a full-time contributor in late 2017.


Wojciech is interested in transport planning, architecture and the history of urbanism. He has a keen interest in highways, both in the UK and internationally, and has as an interest in the development of Britain’s post-war new towns such as Cumbernauld. He has been researching the development of Cumbernauld and its road system for several years. The town was subject of his final year dissertation.


His role includes research, production and reviewing of articles and liaison with individuals or bodies who have had prior involvement in the Glasgow motorway system. He has organised presentations to transport and planning students.

The information and articles contained within the Glasgow Motorway Archive website are for educational and historical purposes only. All text, photographs and illustrations remain the copyright of the Glasgow Motorway Archive and must not be copied or reproduced without express permission.


The Glasgow Motorway Archive recognises that some of the images and illustrations presented on this website may be subject to external copyright and/or restrictions. These are acknowledged and highlighted where necessary and attributed to the original owners where possible/appropriate.


The Glasgow Motorway Archive is happy to acknowledge original authorship or ownership of any material produced here. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.


Copyright Information

The Glasgow Motorway Archive seeks to provide a comprehensive educational resource. Glasgow has more miles of urban motorway than the combined total of all other UK cities, and the story of how this came to be is of interest to many, and especially anyone who cares about how the city works. 


The project was a considerable feat of civil engineering and by far the largest project in the city since the construction of the railways in the 19th century. We feel that this important part of Glasgow deserves strong online presence, both as a reference tool and an educational resource


Our research has unearthed many facts, figures, plans and photos that have been out of general circulation for many years. The physical archive continues to grow and it is our aim to share as many items from it as possible. We do, for example, share many new photos via our Twitter and Facebook accounts. We have also had several media appearances and given presentations at academic institutions.


Our published articles are generally free from opinion. Where we give an opinion on a particular subject, we separate it from the main text and highlight it as such. The Glasgow Motorway Archive is neither pro, nor anti-road, and does not become involved in campaigns. Comments and general feedback are welcome and we hope you find the site to be of interest.

GMA Mission Statement


Media Appearances



Special Dedication & Thanks

The Glasgow Motorway Archive is dedicated to the memory of John M. Cullen who passed away in May 2018.


We were first introduced to John in January 2009. This was a turning point in the development of what became the Glasgow Motorway Archive. John became a good friend and mentor and was an invaluable source of information. He offered much encouragement to us as we strived to tell the Glasgow motorway story.


John had a crucial role in the production of a Highway Plan for Glasgow. His responsibilities lay in the development of an outline design for the Glasgow motorway system, as well as in the detailed design of some early contracts, such as Townhead Interchange and the North Flank of the M8 Inner Ring Road. John developed corridors for routes, such as M8 between Hillington and Baillieston, the Glasgow Inner Ring Road, sections of what we now know as the M77 and the M80, as well as unbuilt routes such as the Maryhill Motorway.


John had an impressive CV, being a civil engineer for over 65 years. He was a Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Highways & Transportation. His vast experience saw him work around the globe on a variety of projects such as the design of the ten lane Las Vegas Freeway, the Cumbernauld New Town road system, the Motherwell Ring Road, development of the Baghdad Transportation Study as well as work in Ontario, Canada. He published a number of papers on a variety of transport planning subjects. John's book "Glasgow Motorways: A History" is essential reading for those interested in the Glasgow Inner Ring Road.


We would like to take the opportunity to express our appreciation to John Cullen for the assistance and the source material he provided over the years. His contributions have ensured that the website has become as successful as it is.


Research Services


Special Thanks

The list below details just a small selection of the records held by the Glasgow Motorway Archive. If you have questions, or would like to donate any records or photographs, please feel free to contact us by email.


Our Library

The First & Second Planning Reports (Bruce Report) (1945)

The Clyde Valley Report (1949) Sir Patrick Abercrombie

Interim Report on Glasgow Inner Ring Road (1962)

A Highway Plan for Glasgow (1965)

The Greater Glasgow Transportation Study (1967-1973)

Maryhill Motorway Report (1975)

Ayr Motorway Report (1975)

Inner Ring Road - South & East Flank Reports (1973-80)

Glasgow Inner Ring Road - Performance Study (1975)

Strathclyde Regional Council SPRAG Report (1981)

Strathclyde Regional Council - Various Reports (1975-96)

Various Public Local Inquiry Reports

Various Strathclyde Regional Council Structure Plans

CITRAC Operations Manual (1980s)

Various Scottish Office Consultations & Reports (1990s)

Press Cuttings (1960s-1990s)

Slides (1960s-1990s)

Construction Photographs (All Routes)

Archive Photographs

Fold Out Maps (1960s to 1990s)

Archive Film Clips

GGTS Technical & Steering Group Committee Memos

Scottish Transport Statistic Reports

Accident Statistics (1950s-Present)

Detailed Traffic Flow Data (1950s-Present)

Various Opening and Commemorative Booklets

For further information on the history of Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners, and specifically on Scott Wilson in Scotland, we recommend Jim McCafferty's excellent website on the subject:



We recommend the following websites for further information on UK roads, signs and general highway history:


Show Me A Sign Blog


UK Roads


Pathetic Motorways


Motorway Services Online


Northern Ireland Roads Site



We are proud members of SABRE. See the website here:


Recommended Links