White Cart Bridge

White Cart Bridge
Coordinates 55°52′48″N 4°24′33″W / 55.8800°N 4.4091°W / 55.8800; -4.4091Coordinates: 55°52′48″N 4°24′33″W / 55.8800°N 4.4091°W / 55.8800; -4.4091
Carries Motor vehicles, cycles, pedestrians
Crosses White Cart Water
Locale Renfrew
Owner Renfrewshire Council
Heritage status Category A listed
Design Bascule bridge
Number of spans 1
Designer Sir William Arrol
Constructed by Sir William Arrol & Co
Opened 1923
Replaces Old White Cart Bridge

White Cart Bridge is situated on the A8 road in Renfrew, Scotland. It is a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule Bridge. The bridge crosses White Cart Water at the confluence with the Black Cart River. It is the only remaining lift bridge in the country and became category A listed on 13 December 1994.[1][2][3][4] The bridge is still capable of opening, as the Doosan Babcock factory in Renfrew require the capability to move large loads by river.


The White and Black Cart rivers have been an important crossing site for many years. Initially people forded the rivers and latterly a ferry was used to make the crossing. A bridge was built in 1759. It was a seven-arch bridge, crossing both rivers, and was washed away in 1809. Two separate bridges which are still in use today were built in 1812 as a replacement for the crossing. The new bridges could not accommodate large ships sailing into Paisley.[5][6][7]

A new section of river bypassing the low bridge was completed by 1838, requiring a new bridge to cross the White Cart. Initially a swing bridge was used to make the crossing. It was replaced by the lift bridge in 1923. The name swing bridge has remained locally even though the bridge lifts, rather than swings.[8][9]

The bridge was designed by Scottish civil engineer Sir William Arrol. His company William Arrol & Co built some of the most famous bridges in the United Kingdom including the Forth Bridge and Tower Bridge. They were responsible for the construction of the bridge at Renfrew.[10]

In August 2004, a £1m restoration project in connection with Historic Scotland took place. This involved renewing all the mechanical components and resurfacing the road. The bridge was also painted red and cream and had new lights installed.[11]


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