Scotswood Bridge

Scotswood Bridge is one of the main bridges crossing the River Tyne in North East England. It links the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank of the river with the MetroCentre and Blaydon in Gateshead on the south bank. It is situated 5.2 km (3.2 mi) upstream of the better-known city centre bridges.

Scotswood Bridge
ScotswoodBridge Side 2008
Scotswood Bridge, in 2008
Coordinates54°58′01″N 1°41′24″W / 54.9670°N 1.6899°W
OS grid referenceNZ199636
CrossesRiver Tyne
Preceded byScotswood Railway Bridge
Followed byRedheugh Bridge
DesignSteel through arch with suspended box girder deck.
Total length138.9 m (456 ft)
Width20.13 m (66.0 ft)
Piers in water2
Clearance above7.6 m (25 ft)
No. of lanes4
DesignerMott, Hay and Anderson
Constructed byMitchell Construction
Fabrication byDorman Long
Construction start1964
Construction end1967
Construction cost£2.5 million
Opened20 March 1967
ReplacesScotswood Chain Bridge
Scotswood Bridge is located in Tyne and Wear
Scotswood Bridge
Scotswood Bridge
Location in Tyne and Wear

The Chain Bridge

The first bridge across the river at this location was the Old Scotswood Bridge, or "The Chain Bridge" as it was known locally. It was a suspension bridge with two stone towers, from which the road deck was suspended by chains. It was passed by parliament in 1829 and designed by John Green, with construction beginning that year. When it was opened on 16 April 1831 it was the first bridge over the River Tyne to be opened during Tyneside's industrial era.

The bridge was freed from tolls in 1907. In 1931 the bridge needed to be strengthened and widened. The width was increased from 17 ft (5.2 m) to 19.5 ft (5.9 m) with two 6 ft (1.8 m) footpaths. The suspension cables and decking were also strengthened, allowing the weight limit to be raised to 10 tonnes (9.842 long tons; 11.02 short tons). The bridge eventually proved too narrow for the traffic it needed to carry and its increasing repair costs proved too much. After standing for 136 years, it was closed and demolished in 1967 after its replacement had been completed.[1]

The Current Bridge

A replacement for the Chain Bridge had been proposed as early as 1941. Permission was finally granted in 1960. A new bridge was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson and built by Mitchell Construction and Dorman Long. Construction commenced on 18 September 1964. It was built slightly to the west of the Chain Bridge, which continued operating during the new bridge's construction. The bridge was opened on 20 March 1967. It is a box girder bridge, supported by two piers in the river and carries a dual carriageway road. Combined costs for demolition of the old bridge and construction of the new one were £2.5 million.[2]

Scotswood Bridge carried the traffic of the Gateshead A69 western by-pass from 1970 up until the construction of Blaydon Bridge and the new A1 in 1990. Between June 1971 and January 1974 traffic on the bridge was limited to single file to enable strengthening work to take place, which was needed to address design concerns. It has required further strengthening and repairs a number of times since; between 1979 and 1980, in 1983 and in 1990.[3]


  1. ^ "Scotswood Bridge (Chain Bridge)". Bridges on the Tyne. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Fact File: The Scotswood Bridges". Tyne and Wear Archives. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Scotswood Bridge". Bridges on the Tyne. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
Next bridge upstream River Tyne Next bridge downstream
Scotswood Railway Bridge
Disused (now carries water and gas mains) 
Scotswood Bridge
Grid reference: NZ198636
Redheugh Bridge
A189 road 
A69 road

The A69 is a major northern trunk road in England, running east-west across the Pennines, through the counties of Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Cumbria. Originally the road started in Blaydon, but since the creation of the A1 Western Bypass around Newcastle upon Tyne, it now starts at Denton Burn a suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The route from the A1 junction to Carlisle City Centre is 54 miles (87 km).

Benwell and Scotswood

Benwell and Scotswood is an electoral ward of Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. The ward encompasses the Benwell and Scotswood housing areas, as well as the Newcastle Business Park, which is located on the banks of the River Tyne and houses offices of companies such as British Airways and the Automobile Association. The population of the ward is 13,759, which is 5.3% of the total population of Newcastle upon Tyne. Car ownership in the area is 45.1%, lower than the city average of 54.7%. The 2011 Census gave a population of 12,694.

Dunston railway station

Dunston railway station serves Dunston, an area of Gateshead, in Tyne and Wear, northern England. It is located on the Tyne Valley Line which runs from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle. Passenger services are provided by Northern, which also manages the station.

The station first opened on 1 January 1909 and was situated on a section of line built by the NER to link the lines over newly commissioned King Edward VII Bridge with the original 1837 Newcastle and Carlisle Railway freight route to Redheugh Goods and the Dunston coal staithes. It was originally known as Dunston-on-Tyne, and served as the terminus of a shuttle service from Newcastle. This service ended on 4 May 1926 (as a result of the General Strike of 1926) and the station was closed. It was very briefly brought back into use for special evacuation trains during World War II, but remained closed throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

From 4 October 1982, Tyne Valley Line passenger trains were routed via Dunston due to the closure of Scotswood Bridge, and Dunston station was officially re-opened by British Rail on 1 October 1984. Initially, most Tyne Valley services called at Dunston, but this service frequency was later reduced due to low passenger numbers, particularly after the opening of MetroCentre railway station on 3 August 1987.

Mitchell Construction

Mitchell Construction was once a leading British civil engineering business based in Peterborough.

National Cycle Route 141

National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 141 is a Sustrans Regional Route. It is 6 miles long. It provides a connection between Route 14 and Route 72 along the south bank of the River Tyne through Gateshead. The full length of the route is part of the Keelmans Way. It is fully signed and open.

Redheugh Bridge

The Redheugh Bridge (, REH-dyuuf) is a road bridge spanning the River Tyne west of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre on the north bank and Gateshead town centre on the south bank, in North East England. It currently carries the A189 road.

Scotswood (disambiguation)

Scotswood can refer to:

Benwell and Scotswood

Scotswood Railway Bridge

Scotswood railway station

Scotswood Bridge

Scotswood Railway Bridge

Scotswood Railway Bridge is a pipeline bridge and former railway bridge crossing the River Tyne in North East England. It previously carried the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway between Scotswood and Blaydon stations.

Spennymoor Greyhound Stadium

Spennymoor Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium in Spennymoor, County Durham.

Tyne Valley line

The Tyne Valley line, built by the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway, is a railway line in northern England. The 60-mile (97 km) line was built in the 1830s, and links the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear with Carlisle in Cumbria. Formal opening took place on 18 June 1838. The line follows the course of the River Tyne through Northumberland. Five stations and two viaducts on the route are listed structures. The line is referred to in tourist publicity as the "Hadrian's Wall Country line."

White City Stadium (Newcastle)

White City Stadium (Newcastle) was a greyhound racing stadium near Scotswood Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear.

Whorlton, County Durham

Whorlton is a small village in County Durham, in England. It is situated near the River Tees and to the east of Barnard Castle.

Whorlton Bridge is a 183ft long suspension bridge which crosses the River Tees. It is Britain's oldest suspension bridge relying on original chainwork.The village has a public house called 'Fernaville's Rest'.

Arthur Headlam and James Wycliffe Headlam were both born in the village.

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