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Inchinnan Bascule Bridge

Opened 1923 to a rare design by William Scherzer, the bridge enabled much increased road and river traffic at the White Cart

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A8 Inchinnan Road


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About Inchinnan Bascule Bridge

In early times a ford or ferry helped people cross the Black and White Cart Water to reach the small town of Inchin-nan. In 1759 a nine-arched stone bridge was constructed where the two rivers met. However this meant that ships sailing up to Paisley had to lower their masts - slow, hard work - to pass through. A canal was then constructed to get round the problem, first with a swing bridge and, in 1923, with the present rolling lift bridge opened by Provost William Lang. The bridge is the one of two still operating in Scotland and is of a Scherzer Rolling Lift design originated in Chicago. William Scherzer the patentee died aged 35 after designing two bridges in Chicago in 1893, opened in 1895, that don’t survive. His brother established a company to roll out their rolling lift bridges across USA and Europe. The other one in Scotland is in Peterhead, 1952-53, hence known as the Queenie Bridge.

Designed by William B Hall and engineered by William Arrol Company Limited, this Grade A-listed structure received in August 2004 a £1M restoration project in connection with Historic Scotland. This involved strengthening, renewing all the mechanical components and resurfacing the road. The bridge was also painted red and cream and had new lights installed. The protective paint system of vibrant colours and the architectural lighting installation dramatically enhance this unusual structure whose control room is accessed by stairs with the engine-house having a counterbalancing weight. Having been much more frequently in action when Paisley Harbour was still active and Cart Shipbuilders was in business, it still has to swing occasionally for traffic to Westway Harbour, and performs each September for Doors Open Day, in 2023 to celebrate its centenary.


Photos: WF Millar, JM Towill, Lairich Rig, Paul Russell, Thomas Nugent, Google Maps - with thanks

on A8 between Renfrew and Inchinnan

Renfrewshire’s Tannahill Makar Shaun Moore wrote a poem for the centenary which is at

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR