Glasgow Inner Ring Road
South & East Flanks
The south and east flanks of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road were not constructed. Together, they would have completed the motorway loop around the city centre, and have included a connection to the Hamilton Motorway. It was intended that they would carry the majority of “through traffic”, i.e. traffic heading for destinations beyond the city. Both flanks had higher capacities than the north and west flanks as a result. Controversial from the outset, the scheme proposals were amended several times, with a number of public participation exercises carried out.
The south flank was projected as an elevated motorway, parallel to the River Clyde and adjacent to Wallace Street. It began on the Renfrew Motorway and continued eastwards to the proposed interchange with the Hamilton Motorway. In its original form it had a connection with the surface street system at Eglinton Street and was expected to be four lines wide in each direction. A second motorway crossing of the Clyde, eight lanes wide, was proposed immediately upstream of Albert Bridge. From here the route passed through Glasgow Green where it became the east flank.
The east flank continued the route towards Townhead Interchange. In its original form it was proposed to pass close to Saltmarket, Glasgow Cross and High Street. The proposal included junctions with George Street and at Cathedral Street, running at a minimum of eight lanes wide, with an extensive interchange with the M74 Hamilton Motorway within Glasgow Green. Although not proposing the demolition of culturally or historically important buildings, the public were not impressed. A number of protests followed, and Glasgow Corporation were forced to consider alternative proposals. Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick and Holfords produced several reports throughout the 1970s which sought to provide environmentally acceptable solutions. Cut and cover tunnels and a reduction in traffic lanes were proposed, but after 1980, the scheme was reduced in scale to nothing more than a motorway link between Townhead and London Road. Townhead Interchange was completed in two phases between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, however the section south was not taken forward.