Glasgow’s infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’, which was half-built and abandoned in the 1970s before funding was found to finish it in 2013, has won an award for its “community impact”.

The concrete structure extends from Anderston but came to an abrupt end above a hotel car park until more than one million pounds was spent to finally complete it.

For four decades the white elephant, which loomed large over the M8, frustrated locals and bemused visitors to the city.

City MP Alison Thewliss yesterday admitted that the ‘bridge to nowhere’ had become a “joke” while local MSP Sandra White described it as a “folly”.

Shortly after the structure was completed satirical news website The Daily Mash took a swipe when it covered the story with the headline ‘Completed 'bridge to nowhere' just goes to other part of Glasgow’.

But Anderston Bridge has since become a vital link for pedestrians and cyclists and community councillors who campaigned for its completion will today accept a ‘best community impact’ gong given to the bridge by charity Sustrans.

It is one of four awards handed out today to infrastructure projects on the National Cycle Network which runs for over 14,000 miles across the UK.

The award winners were selected by a group of experts in engineering and transport planning.

Anderston Bridge was judged to have had an important role in linking up walking and cycling routes in the city.

Local MP Alison Thewliss said: “It was a bit of a joke, really, so it’s good to see the bridge recognised for something positive. I grew up in Carluke and I always remember seeing this half-built bridge, which was a bit of an oddity and a curiosity to everyone.

“It’s now become a useful and safe way to connect the city and the investment in this walking and cycling route has been very worthwhile. I’m pleased that it has won this award.”

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White added: “The bridge to nowhere is now the bridge to somewhere. It was great to see it completed but before that it always seemed to be hanging there, doing nothing. It was a folly so it is a surprise to see it win an award. However, it is a testament to the fantastic people who campaigned for years to have it completed.”

One of the area’s four councillors Eva Bolander said the ‘bridge to nowhere’ is no longer “a broken promise to the cycling and walking community of Glasgow”.

She added: “Glasgow was at one point carved up by the preference for car travel, which doesn’t work in a modern city today. We need alternatives for better health and better environment, making walking and cycling real alternatives and I hope this will be followed by more investment in infrastructure for cyclist and pedestrians, as well as in a functioning public transport system.”

Chairwoman of Anderston Community Council, Isobel Campbell, is expected to accept the award on behalf of the local community.

She said: “Since it was brought down to the other side of the M8 a few years ago it’s had a big impact on the lives of people in Anderston and city centre neighbourhoods.

“The bridge has proved to be really popular. It’s used by folk from all walks of life and of all ages, but it’s made a particularly big difference to people with limited mobility. It’s given them the independence to make trips into the city centre directly and safely.”

John Lauder, Director of Sustrans Scotland, paid tribute to the “fantastic efforts” of the local community for “the hard work” that saw the bridge completed.

Councillor Alistair Watson, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Sustainability and Transport, added: “This award recognises the importance of projects such as the completion of the bridge to nowhere and I congratulate everyone involved.”

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, welcomed the award for the bridge which he said was a “much needed community link”.

He added: “The Anderston Community of Glasgow is benefitting hugely from this iconic bridge and in time thousands more will also benefit as the Bears Way route from Milngavie to Glasgow City Centre is delivered with our partners Sustrans, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and local authorities.”