From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||167 miles (268.8 km)|
|Meets:||M8, A898, A83, A85, A828, A830, A86, A87, A887, A9|
|Former Number(s):||A876, A828|
|Now part of:||A814, B863|
|Crianlarich • Fort William • Glasgow • Inverness|
|Route outline (key)|
The A82 runs from Glasgow to Fort William and Inverness, passing along the shores of Loch Lomond and Loch Ness and in the shadow of Ben Nevis along the way. It is probably the most important trunk route serving the West Highlands of Scotland, and along its route uses pieces of road first built in the 1750s. Today serious plans are in progress to start bringing the whole route up to 21st Century standards.
Route in detail
Glasgow - Crianlarich
A82/Loch Lomond: From the Balloch Roundabout, the A82 heads north along the shores of Loch Lomond to Tarbert, and then comes the 'fun' bit to Ardlui.
A82/Glen Falloch: At Ardlui, Loch Lomond is left behind and the A82 starts climbing through Glen Falloch to Crianlarich.
Crianlarich - Glencoe
A82/Rannoch Moor: Bridge of Orchy is the last settlement on the A82 for many miles as it heads north across Rannoch Moor to the Kingshouse Hotel.
A82/Glencoe: Perhaps one of the most evocative names in Scotland, Glencoe sees the A82 fighting the landscape to return to sea level at Loch Leven.
Glencoe - Inverness
A82/Fort William - Fort Augustus: As the A82 starts the journey up the Great Glen, we pass Loch Lochy and Loch Oich.
In the northern section of the A82, after passing Loch Lomond, the predecessors of the modern road can be easy to trace in the surrounding Landscape. The Military Roads dating from the early-mid 18th Century, and the replacement road built by Thomas Telford in the early years of the 19th century are either still in use, or left to slowly sink into the land. However, at the road's start, in the heart of Glasgow city centre, there is no hope of finding such evidence with any ease. The Military Road network is known to have extended to Dumbarton Castle, while Telford's road is described as starting in Glasgow itself, but 200 years of further development have destroyed all trace on the surface.
For details on the history of the A82 look at the route in detail sections above.
Some Notable locations along the route
This is where it all begins, the mess that is Junction 17/18 of the M8, known by some as Charing Cross, by others as Hell.
Two miles out from the city centre, fighting through the hustle and bustle of the Great Western Road, and suddenly you are dumped here, where the A82 meets the A739. Its not a pretty sight, but with a bit of help you will make it through in one piece!
For centuries, ferries had plied the narrows of Loch Leven between North and South Ballachulish. The existence of the Loch Leven and Ballachulish Hotels is evidence enough for this, but on top of that we have the slipways, queing space and Old Ferry Road on the northern shore. The Bridge changed the whole way of life in South Lochaber when it opened in 1975.
This is the end of the road, after 175 miles, the A82 finally runs out at the Longman Roundabout with the A9 in Inverness. However, with plans afoot for a new crossing of the canal and River Ness to the south of the city, linking up with the B8082 eastern distributor road, the A82 may yet be rerouted to meet the A9 at the Inshes Junction.
Based on mapping and datestones on bridges (not comprehensive):
|1725||Fort William||Fort Augustus||Military Road, Roughly parallel to modern A82, except used southern shore of Loch Oich.|
|1726||Fort Augustus||Inverness||Military Road, used southern shore of Loch Ness, but predates route along northern shore.|
|1736-7||High Bridge||Wade's Bridge, over the River Spean, west of Spean Bridge.|
|1750's||Glasgow||Fort William||Military Road, using very different alignment in places, most notably Altnafeadh - Fort William.|
|1786||Altnafeadh||Glencoe Crossroads||Drove road through Glen Coe.|
|c1810||Glasgow||Inverness||Telford's Road, following modern A82 more closely.|
|1922||Glencoe Crossroads||Kinlochleven||High Road, using Garbhein Road in Kinloch. Opened as A829.|
|1927||Glasgow||Dumbarton||Great Western Road extension, opened as A876.|
|1927||Kinlochleven||North Ballachulish||Low Road, opened as A829.|
|1929||High Road||Kinlochleven||Date of Kinlochleven Viaduct, built on then A829.|
|1930||The Study||Glencoe Crossroads||Through Lower Glen Coe.|
|1933||Bridge of Orchy||Altnafeadh||Rannoch Moor.|
|1933||Three Mile Water||Chiochnish||Date of new Kiachnish Bridge.|
|196x||West End||An Aird||Fort William Bypass.|
|1973||Dumbarton||Alexandria||Southern section of Alexandria Bypass.|
|1975||Glencoe Crossroads||North Ballachulish||Ballachulish Bridge and associated road improvements.|
|2006/7||The Study||Replacement Bridge at River Coe falls.|
|2008/9||Achnambeithach||Replacement Bridge at Clachaig Road end.|
|2010||Ba Bridge||Replacement Bridge on Rannoch Moor.|
|2011||Pulpit Rock||Planned road improvement.|
|2011||Crianlarich, Station Rd||Tyndrum Road||Planned Bypass.|
This page was Article of the Month October 2009