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M898 Motorway

Erskine Bridge South Approach

Glasgow Motorway Archive - M898 Motorway Map

The M898 is one of the UK's shortest motorways, and its highest numbered. It was opened to traffic in December 1970, constructed as part of the Erskine Bridge south approach roads.


Technically a spur of the M8 Bishopton Bypass, it runs for a short distance from Junction 30 (Craigton) to an interchange with the A726. It continues as the A898 across the Erskine Bridge before joining the A82 at Dalnottar.


The motorway is used by traffic heading for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Argyll and Bute and the Scottish Highlands. It's also an important link for those travelling within the Glasgow conurbation.

M898 motorway under construction at Craigton (1970).

The need for a bridge across the River Clyde at Erskine was first recognised in the Clyde Valley Plan, published in 1949.


As designs for the Erskine Bridge were developed in the 1960s, it was confirmed that its south approach roads would connect to an upgraded A8 between Glasgow and Greenock. Confirmation of motorway classification came in 1967 when it was decided that the Bishopton Bypass section of the new road would be constructed to special road standards.


The M898 was designed by Freeman Fox and Partners and the main contractor was Glasgow based civil engineering firm, Whatlings. The total cost of the project was £2.1 million, almost £35 million in today's prices.

M898 Construction Summary



Opening Date

Erskine Bridge South Approach

M8 - 1

27th December 1970

The M898 has a single junction, known locally as Spectacles Interchange. Until the completion of the second stage of the Bishopton Bypass in November 1975, the junction was a temporary terminus for traffic heading west on the M8. Today, the junction connects with the A726 and B815 via a pair of large roundabouts.


The junction has long slip roads that face south away from the Erskine Bridge. This layout was chosen to suit the bridge's now removed toll plaza which operated until 2006. The slip roads were once two lanes wide but in recent years have been narrowed for safety reasons.

The M898 connects to the M8 at Craigton via a large "semi-directional T" type interchange. A free flowing, three-level junction, it allows for movements between the two motorways in all directions. 

This article was first published in November 2020. Updated January 2023.

From the Archive


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