Plymouth, Devon, PL5 1LP

West of Plymouth, spanning the River Tamar, is the Tamar Bridge. It runs from near Wearde, Saltash in the west to Riverside, Plymouth in the east. It has a central span of 335 metres and two side spans of 114 metres.

This major thoroughfare along the A38 connects Devon and Cornwall. It is a notable local landmark in Plymouth and Saltash. It has been used on several occasions for protests or to highlight the work of charities and fundraisers.

The bridge was built in 1959 after it became clear that 20th century traffic could not be supported by the existing bridges. Funded by Plymouth City Council and Cornwall County Council, the bridge was officially opened in April 1962. The Queen Mother held a formal presentation to open the bridge.

In 1999, it was found that the bridge did not meet EU requirements for lorry loads so the bridge was closed. In 2002 it was formally reopened, this time by Princess Anne.

To help support the upkeep and maintenance of the bridge, it is tolled. Tolls are only payable when travelling eastbound from Saltash to Plymouth. The current tolls are:

  • Cars – £1.50
  • 2-axle goods vehicles – £3.70
  • 3-axle goods vehicles – £6.00
  • 4-axle goods vehicles – £8.20

You can get half price by using the Tamar Tag, a device that can be affixed to the window of your vehicle.

Today, you can visit the Bridging the Tamar Visitor Learning Centre. The new interactive exhibition space tells the story of the two bridges and celebrates this engineering legacy. The centre focuses on supporting STEM learning and provides guided tours of the bridge. The new Centre is free of charge and is open daily from 10am – 4pm.