For many it is a vital artery with traffic flowing in and out of the city, feeding commerce and the growth of Glasgow for the last half century.

For others it is a 50 year-old scar, as planners took a scalpel to the city in one of the most brutal planning decisions ever taken.

When the Kingston Bridge was opened, taking M8 traffic across the River Clyde it was in an era when road transport was the growing mode in both haulage and private transport.

The many railway lines and stations that served Glasgow’s community were disappearing in government rail cuts and freight was moving from track to tarmac.

The decision to build a motorway not only into Glasgow but right through the centre of the city is one that has had repercussions over the last five decades.

To clear a path for the M8 and Kingston Bridge people had to be swept from their homes and communities and support networks bulldozed and families scattered.

From the east, the road tore through Townhead, and then as it crossed one of the city’s and Scotland’s most famous streets, Sauchiehall Street, carved up Charing Cross with as much consideration as a razor wielding gangster.

For the bridge, it razed old Anderston to the ground and then on its way west, leaving the city behind, it knocked Kinning Park out flat.

All because the car was King.

It brought hundreds of thousands of vehicles, cars, coaches and trucks thundering though the city.

As the skies were beginning to be cleared of old dirty industrial smoke from factories it was being replaced with poisonous fumes from the ever-increasing number of road vehicles.

Then, now, and in the years in between, Glasgow has seen an increase in road traffic and in air pollution.

But at the same time the city has had lower than average car ownership.

The people, and the children of the people, who did not and do not own cars are being adversely affected by those who do.

Car ownership in Glasgow ten years after the Kingston Bridge was opened was 29% compared to 51% in Scotland.

Today, while more households have access to a car, the gap is the same.

There are 49% of Glasgow households with access to a car at the last census compared to 69% in Scotland.

Like the Clyde Tunnel many of the journeys on the Kingston Bridge start and end outside Glasgow.

Every morning and every teatime the bridge is the location of tailbacks. The radio traffic reporters could write it in their sleep. From Plantation in the west. From Provan gasworks in the east traffic is slow or at a halt.

There is no doubt in economic terms it is of huge importance to Scotland.

But is there an alternative? Is there another transport revolution underway that will depose the car and the road from the throne?

Can we afford to continue to rely so heavily on a form of transport that is doing so much damage.

Next year Glasgow will host the UN Cop 26 Climate Change summit. It will be held in the SEC.

From the front doors of the conference arena the Kingston Bridge will be visible and the thousands of delegates will probably have travelled across it coming from Glasgow Airport into one of the hotels in the city centre.

Because, at the moment, there is no other way.

Glasgow has begun a transformation of transport, and how we use space, in the city centre with more pedestrianisation and cycle lanes on the way.

That is being extended out to communities and hopefully the Glasgow Metro will be realised and provide the alternative to the M8 from the airport and to the car getting in and out of the city centre.

Glasgow has in the time since the Kingston Bridge opened seen many new rail stations but nothing compared to the miles of track that was lost as the road took over.

For the city to truly benefit over the next 50 years the transformation has to go further and see fewer cars and lorries on the Kingston Bridge.

The lost space as a result of the M8 devouring streets and homes in the late 1960s can be reclaimed by burying the motorway like has been done in other cities.

Many will marvel at the engineering of the Kingston Bridge, despite it being architecturally uninspiring, others at the statistics and how many cars have crossed it, and others at the estimated economic worth.

Many others however, given the lost communities, increased pollution and its contribution to congestion rather than easing it, will conclude otherwise.

That it is the bridge that should never have been built.