M898 Motorway

Erskine Bridge South Approach

Glasgow Motorway Archive - M898 Motorway Map

The M898 is one of the shortest motorways in the UK, it is also the highest numbered. It opened in advance of the Erskine Bridge as part of its South Approach road and the M8 Bishopton Bypass Stage 1 in December 1970. It begins at Junction 30 of the M8 and ends only one mile later at an interchange with the A726. It continues as the A898 across the Erskine Bridge before joining the A82 at Dalnottar.


As the westernmost road crossing of the River Clyde, it is well used by long distance and tourist traffic travelling to and from Glasgow Airport, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the Scottish Highlands.

The need for a downstream crossing of the River Clyde was first recognised by the Clyde Valley Plan, published in 1949. It suggested a route across the river in the same location as the existing bridge.


It was always intended that the Erskine Bridge south approach roads would connect with an upgraded A8 between Greenock and Glasgow. Motorway classification came in the late 1960s when it was decided that the schemes connecting with the M8 Renfrew Bypass should also be constructed to motorway standard.


The road and its associated works were designed by Freeman Fox and the main contractor was Glasgow based Whatlings Construction. Their total cost was £2.1 Million.

M898 Motorway Construction Summary



Opening Date

Erskine Bridge South Approach

M8 - 1

27th December 1970

The M898 has a single junction, known locally as Spectacles Interchange. It was used as a temporary terminus of the motorway prior to the opening of the Erskine Bridge the 2nd July 1971. Today this junction connects with the A726 (towards Erskine) and B815 (towards Bishopton) via a pair of large roundabouts.


This junction has long slip roads that face south away from the bridge providing full access to and from the motorway. This layout was deliberately chosen to suit the toll plaza for the Erskine Bridge. The slip roads were once two lanes wide, but in recent years have been narrowed to single width due to safety reasons.

The M898 connects to the M8 at Craigton Interchange via a large "Semi-directional T", free flowing three-level interchange. This allows for  movements between the two motorways in all directions. 

This article was first published in November 2020.

From the Archive


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