GLASGOW'S concrete Kingston Bridge has been given listed status in recognition of its "special architectural and historic interest".

The move by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) puts the 10-lane crossing in the same bracket as the elegant Forth Bridge.

But while the Firth of Forth structure has been given an A ranking, the River Clyde crossing has been designated as a C.

Transport Scotland nominated it for listing to mark its 50th anniversary in June.

The National:

Part of the M8 motorway, which was the first in the country, its construction came during a period of rapid change in the country's travel, work and living habits.

It also saw established communities razed to make room for the structure.

HES says the decision to go ahead recognises the bridge "as a significant — albeit controversial — infrastructure project which transformed the city of Glasgow".

The National:

The Kingston Bridge was created as private car ownership boomed and is an early example of a cantilevered concrete box girder bridge.

Up to 160,000 vehicles now cross it every day, making it the busiest road bridge in Scotland and amongst the most hectic in Europe.

HES had considered giving it a higher category B listing, but went for the C "after consideration of the consultation responses about the bridge’s special historic and architectural interest". 

Elizabeth McCrone, HES head of designations, said: "What became clear through the consultation is that people feel very strongly about the decision to list the Kingston Bridge, and a number of issues were raised ranging from concerns that this would mean the bridge must always remain a motorway and the climate change impacts of this, to worries that recognising the bridge in this way was insensitive to the effect its construction had on the communities directly affected.

The National:

"Listing is a way of recognising buildings and structures that create Scotland’s distinctive character, and through which we can discover more about the stories of our past.

"In listing the Kingston Bridge, we have responded to the consultation to show both the positive and negative aspects of its history — including how a large part of Anderston Cross was demolished and transformed as part of the city’s ambitious and innovative redevelopment of the area, which included the building of the bridge."

The National:

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson commented: "The Kingston Bridge has become an iconic landmark in Glasgow, so I’m pleased to see its 50 years of operation being recognised in this way.

"The crossing played its part in taking a significant amount of traffic off the city centre streets and paved the way for the pedestrianisation of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.

"It has also courted some controversy over the past half century, but there is no doubt it continues to play a vital role today.

"The work that’s been carried out to ensure it continues to do this job in the future has won civil engineering awards, so having the Kingston Bridge formally listed is a fitting way to mark its impact over the past 50 years."