A9 road (Scotland)

A9 road (Scotland)

The A9 is a major road running from the Falkirk council area in central Scotland to Thurso in the far north, via Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Perth and Inverness. At 273 miles, it is the longest road in Scotland and the fifth-longest A-road in the United Kingdom. Historically it was the main road between Edinburgh and John o' Groats, and has been called "the spine of Scotland [http://www.swlg.org.uk/WLN63d.htm] " and "The Road of Death" due to its high rate of accidents. In 2008, so far there has been seven fatal accidents accounting to twelve deaths including 2 young children.

In the south the road's importance has been eclipsed by (1) the A90 across the Forth Road Bridge and the M90 motorway, which now link Edinburgh more directly with Perth, bypassing Stirling and Bridge of Allan as formerly important bridge points, and (2) the M9, which is now the main road between Edinburgh and Bridge of Allan. Between Edinbugh and Falkirk the old A9 route has been reclassified into the A803 and the B9080 amongst others; part of the route between Kirkliston and Maybury no longer exists as the area is now part of Edinburgh Airport. Between Falkirk and Bridge of Allan the A9 survives as a more or less parallel road to the M9.

The link between the M9 and the A9, by Bridge of Allan, is the notorious Keir Roundabout. "The Keir roundabout produces more accidents per year than any other site in central Scotland." [http://www.parkofkeir.co.uk/indexold.html]

The 138 mile section between Bridge of Allan and Inverness, via Perth, was substantially rebuilt during the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, but it follows essentially the same route, except where it skirts towns and villages instead of running through their centres. Between Perth and Inverness the road has been dubbed the Killer, because of accidents and fatalities associated with the way dual-carriageway sections merge into single-carriageway. The Scottish Government is now giving serious consideration to converting the entire Perth-Inverness section to dual carriageway with more grade separated junctions, but at an estimated cost of £600 million and environmental opposition (the road cuts through some of the most picturesque parts of the Highlands), it may be many years before this goal is ever realised. The M90 meets the A9 at Broxden Junction, on the outskirts of Perth. Broxden Junction is one of the busiest and most important road junctions in Scotland.

In the north, beyond Inverness, the A9 designation has been transferred (1) in response to construction of new bridges across the Moray Firth (the Kessock Bridge), the Cromarty Firth and the Dornoch Firth, and (2) so that the A9 leads not to John o' Groats but to Scrabster Harbour, Thurso, where a government-supported ferry service takes traffic to and from Stromness in Orkney. Therefore various towns and villages which were on the A9 are now seriously distanced from this trunk road. [Towns and villages which were on the A9 but now quite remote from it:
* Beauly: now on the A862.
* Ardgay and Bonar Bridge: now on the A836. Bonar Bridge is also on the A949.
* Wick and John o' Groats: now on the A99.

Between Perth and Inverness, the A9 forms part of Euroroute E15. Inverness is the northern terminus of this route, and it runs south to the southern Spanish town of Algeciras.

Falkirk to Bridge of Allan

From Falkirk to Bridge of Allan the A9 runs through or near Bannockburn, Plean, Torwood, Larbert and Stirling.

Bridge of Allan to Inverness

From Bridge of Allan to Inverness the A9 runs through or near Lecropt, Dunblane, Blackford, Auchterarder, Gleneagles, Broxden Junction, Perth, Birnam, Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, the Grampian Mountains, Dalwhinnie, Kingussie, Aviemore and Carrbridge.

Inverness to Thurso


From Inverness the A9 runs across, through or near the Moray Firth, the Black Isle, Tore, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge, the Cromarty Firth, Easter Ross, Dingwall, Evanton, Alness, Invergordon, Nigg Bay, Fearn, Tain, the Dornoch Firth, Sutherland, Dornoch, The Mound, Golspie, Dunrobin Castle, Brora, Helmsdale, Caithness, Berriedale (and the Berriedale Braes), Dunbeath, Latheron, Mybster,
Georgemas and Thurso. The road ends at Scrabster Harbour, Thurso.


From the A96 in the Raigmore area of Inverness the A9 has junctions with other classified roads as follows:

* In the Inverness area:
** The A96 (Ordnance Survey gbmapping|NH687456).
** The A82 in the Longman area (gbmapping|NH673467). Just north of this junction the Kessock Bridge (gbmappingsmall|NH664476) carries the A9 over the Moray Firth to the Black Isle.
* On the Black Isle:
** The B9161 (gbmappingsmall|NH629493).
** At Tore, near Muir of Ord and Conon Bridge:
*** The A832 and the A835 (gbmappingsmall|NH602524). The A832 and the A835 meet the A9 at the same roundabout, at Tore. The A832 links Muir of Ord with the A9. The A835 links Conon Bridge.
** The B9169 (gbmappingsmall|NH590569).
** The B9163 (gbmappingsmall|NH594600). Just north of this junction the A9 bridges the Cromarty Firth (gbmappingsmall|NH589613) to reach Easter Ross.

* In Easter Ross:
** Near Dingwall:
*** The A862 (gbmappingsmall|NH586622).
** In the Evanton, Alness, Invergordon area:
*** The B817 (gbmappingsmall|NH604648). The B817 runs through Evanton, Alness and Invergordon. The A9 alignment here is more west-east than south-north. Evanton and Alness are north of the A9. Invergordon is to the south.
*** The B9176 (gbmappingsmall|NH629676).
*** The B817 (gbmappingsmall|NH665690).
*** The B817 (gbmappingsmall|NH768749).
** Near Nigg Bay
*** The B9175 (gbmappingsmall|NH793772).
** Near Hill of Fearn:
*** The B9165 (gbmappingsmall|NH797787). Fearn railway station is on the B9165, about one mile (2 km) east of the A9.
** Near Tain:
*** The B9174 (gbmappingsmall|NH785810).
*** The B9174 gbmappingsmall|NH770827).
** The A836 (gbmappingsmall|NH749843). Just north of this junction the A9 bridges the Dornoch Firth (gbmappingsmall|NH747859).

* In Sutherland:
** The A949 (gbmappingsmall|NH751895).
** Near Dornoch:
*** The A949 (gbmappingsmall|NH768905).
*** The B9168 (gbmappingsmall|NH781927).
** At The Mound, near Rogart:
*** The A839 (gbmappingsmall|NH777983). Rogart railway station is on the A839. From the Mound the A9 runs through or past Golspie (gbmappingsmall|NC833000), Dunrobin Castle (gbmappingsmall|NC849012) and Brora (gbmappingsmall|NC906040) before meeting another classified road, in Helmsdale.

** In Helmsdale:
*** The A897 (gbmappingsmall|ND028153). From Helmsdale the A9 runs through Berriedale (gbmappingsmall|ND118226) and Dunbeath (gbmappingsmall|ND160297) before meeting another classified road, at Latheron, Caithness.

* In Caithness:
** At Latheron:
*** The A99 (gbmappingsmall|ND199335).
** At Mybster:
*** B870 (gbmappingsmall|ND168529).
** In the Georgemas area:
*** The A882 (gbmappingsmall|ND155601).
*** The B874 (gbmappingsmall|ND152607).
** In Thurso:
*** The A836 (gbmappingsmall|ND118680).
*** The B874 (gbmappingsmall|ND116682).
*** The A836 (gbmappingsmall|ND107688).

The A9 ends in Thurso, at (Scrabster Harbour) (gbmappingsmall|ND101704).


External links

* [http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/roadlists/f99/9.shtml Society for All British Road Enthusiasts entry for the A9]
* [http://www.road-to-nowhere.co.uk/route-guides/A9/ Road to Nowhere - A9]
* [http://www.thea9.org A9 information and map]

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