Opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth on 4 September 1964, the Forth Road Bridge is 2.5km long and one of the world’s most significant long-span suspension bridges.
With the growing popularity of the motor car, the need for a road bridge was first identified in the 1920s. Plans were put on hold until 1947 due to The Great Depression and Second World War. Construction, which finally began in 1958, saw Britain’s largest three construction firms collaborating under the banner of ACD Bridge Company Ltd. The consortium included Sir William Arrol, who had been responsible for the construction of the Forth Bridge 80 years earlier. A special training school had to be set up in Queensferry to teach contractors how to spin the main cables which were made not far away by Bruntons of Musselburgh.
Nowadays, a walk or cycle across the bridge offers plenty of interest.
To the north (North Queensferry end) you’ll see incredible views of the iconic Forth Bridge, west Fife and the Queensferry Crossing which opened in 2017.
To the south (South Queensferry end), you can enjoy
views over Port Edgar Marina towards the Queensferry Crossing and beyond to Blackness Castle which is known as the ship that never sailed due to its boat-like shape. if you keep going to the Forth Bridges Viewpoint at the end of the Bridge, there’s a coffee kiosk, toilets, the opening memorial, and (coming soon), a telescope to zoom in on landmarks and wildlife.
Look out for Inchgarvie island tucked under the Forth Bridge. Strategically important in the times when travel was limited to boats, it’s now uninhabited. Four of the caissons that make up the foundations for The Forth Bridge are located on the island. You can also see a small brick tower with a beacon – this is the only surviving element of Bouch’s Forth Bridge, construction of which was abandoned immediately after the Tay Bridge disaster in 1879.
If you’re feeling romantic, the bridge is home to thousands of love locks. Originally a project to raise funds for the RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Station, they make for nice reading.
The road bridge is open to cyclists and pedestrians along one of two dedicated walkways. There is a footpath on either side of the Forth Road Bridge. The east footpath links into National Cycle Route 1 and is kept open at all times except in high winds above 50mph. The west footpath is routinely closed to the public in order to separate maintenance traffic from cyclists and pedestrians. Sometimes these arrangements are reversed. There will be clear guidance when you arrive at the bridge.
Only public transport, pedestrians and cyclists are permitted to use the Forth Road Bridge.