Haughhead Bridge at the boundary of Blantyre and Uddingston had been closed throughout Summer 1927 to vehicular traffic. The bridge was deemed unsafe for passing vehicles and workmen had for 3 months been very busy repairing and pointing the bridge’s walls and laying a road surface with tarred chips which led over the bridge.
However, on Friday 7th October 1927, it re-opened again to traffic. Anybody driving over that bridge even today knows how narrow it is and how close your own vehicle can get to the walls, if it has to pass by an oncoming vehicle. Things were no different in 1927.
Even on the day the bridge re-opened, with improvement made, an incident occurred when a fruiterer with his motor van was travelling towards Blantyre.
When he turned on to the bridge one of his assistants pointed out a notice stating that the bridge was closed for all vehicular traffic, was still up, despite the bridge appearing to be open. The driver stopped abruptly in the middle of the bridge to discuss with his assistants as to whether he should go over or not. What if the bridge wasn’t safe, they didn’t want to end up in the Clyde? Was the sign supposed to have been taken down?
Eventually a heavy motor lorry which was also going to Blantyre, swung on the bridge and did an emergency stop behind the fruit van, in time avert a collision. The driver of the heavy lorry became irritated at the fruit van standing in front of him on the bridge because he couid not get past, so he blew his horn. The fruiterer’s motor moved across the bridge towards Blantyre slowly and the heavy motor did the same, but instead of stopping at the end of the bridge, as the fruiterer’s motor did, the heavy vehicle stepped on the gas and in a little time he was lost to view.
The signage was subsequently removed.