Glasgow & West Scotland

Unseen footage shows Glasgow's M8 motorway in 1970s

M8 Townhead Interchange - view east from Baird Street (early 1970s) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption M8 Townhead Interchange - view east from Baird Street (early 1970s)

Previously unseen footage capturing the growth of Glasgow's M8 in the 1970s has been revealed.

The film, along with a series of pictures, have been digitally preserved by the Glasgow Motorway Archive.

The non-profit organisation published footage in an effort to showcase the history of the major work of civil engineering.

Most of the motorway was completed between 1965 and 1980.

East along M8 at Port Dundas (mid 1970s) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption East along M8 at Port Dundas (mid 1970s)
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Media captionM8 Woodside to Townhead - east (early 1970s)
South across the Kingston Bridge from Anderston Footbridge (1974) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption South across the Kingston Bridge from Anderston Footbridge (1974)
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Once known as the Glasgow Inner Ring Road, the M8 was built in several stages and provided a key link between Edinburgh and the west.

The first section to open to traffic was a new road between Newhouse in North Lanarkshire and Whitburn in West Lothian.

The first section opened in Glasgow city centre in 1968.

Alexandra Parade to M8 temporary terminus at Townhead (early 1970s) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption Alexandra Parade to M8 temporary terminus at Townhead (early 1970s)
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M8 north from Anderston (1973) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption M8 north from Anderston (1973)
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West along the M8 at Port Dundas and Dobbies Loan (1973) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption West along the M8 at Port Dundas and Dobbies Loan (1973)
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Now carrying more than 150,000 vehicles through the centre of Glasgow every day, the M8 is among the busiest motorways in Europe.

Civil engineer and archive contributor Stuart Baird said: "It's 50 years since the first section of motorway opened in the city centre.

"In the period 1965-1972 there was an intense construction phase, quite possibly the largest civil engineering project in the city of the 20th century. "

M8 at Charing Cross looking north Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption M8 at Charing Cross looking north (1974)
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West along the M8 from Baird Street Bridge (April 1968) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption West along the M8 from Baird Street Bridge (April 1968)

He added: "We recently unearthed some previously unseen film of the motorway around the city centre from 1974, shortly after it was completed.

"It was filmed during the evening peak period and is a stunning illustration of the growth in traffic on the roads since then.

"The footage is significant as it shows the motorway completed, but before it was connected to other sections of the M8 towards Baillieston or Hillington in the late 70s."

M8 at St Georges Cross (mid 1970s) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption M8 at St Georges Cross (mid 1970s)
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M8 North Street towards Charing Cross (1973) Image copyright Glasgow Motorway Archive
Image caption M8 North Street towards Charing Cross (1973)
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Last year the newest "missing link" section of the M8 opened to traffic.

The seven-mile link road between Newhouse and Baillieston was completed in April, making the entire stretch from Glasgow to Edinburgh one motorway.

It was part of a £500m M8, M73 and M74 improvements project aimed at tackling congestion problems in central Scotland and cutting journey times by up to 20 minutes.

All images copyright.