In the last year (2005 at time of writing) the route of the A738 has changed greatly. The start has moved & it is on an all-new route. This route is the old A78. The old A738 route is now the B780. We start this account on the original road to the A78 then the new bit to the A78 then the last bit after the A78
Section 1: Ardrossan - Stevenston
Before the opening of the Ardrossan (3 towns) by-pass, this road used to start at a T-junction near to the Largs branch line (explained earlier). Now it starts at the new roundabout that opened in June 2004. At first we near to the coast then the north bay road pass us by & we pass a posh School. This was the old A78. We are on a straightish piece of road. We meet the B780 at a crossroads. The B780 takes you to Dalry. We soon meet the old northern start of this road now classified as a B road. At a T-junction near to the railway. This Junction is traffic light controlled. After crossing the railway, the road passes suburbia. We soon arrive at the crossroads witch the B728 takes traffic to one of Ardrossan's three stations. This junction, traffic lighted controlled marks the end of Ardossan. To our right is Ardrossan Academy. In England, it land would be called a primary School.
After the lights, we enter Saltcoats, where my Dad grew up. The Saltcoats part of the road is very straight. We pass a few car dealerships & a semi busy Esso garage. That is found a little before the next traffic lighted crossroads. We now pass a non 24-hour Tesco the healthcare centre before we enter the last of the 3 towns, Stevenston. We pass a small right turn then the road curves. We pass a few roads. Very soon, we pass a little newsagent that been open for well for at least the last 50 years. You can recognize it by the Scottish Cameral bar with yellow around it. We also cross a bridge over a stream. It also near a steeple church. We then curve towards the roundabout where the old multiplex used to start when this road was A78. Before, we had a straight run into the multiplex but now we turn slightly to the left.
We're now on the old multiplex, now plain Jane A738. We pass Stevenston cemetery before the second roundabout of many roundabouts. This is the B752 to Ardeer. Although the road is straight, we meet the 3rd roundabout. This one is for Safeway/Morrisons, B&Q & McDonalds. Very soon though, we're at the Hawkhill roundabout where the old multiplex ended. The now D2 A78 is here. Before we do the last section of road, this roundabout is much busier now that the Three Towns By-Pass is complete. There might be plans to GSJ this Junction. Who knows though although this is known? Scottish Transport Policy is superior to English Policy. A lot of the Stevenston section of road has been rebuilt with bus lanes to improve public transport links.
Section 2: Stevenston - Killwinning
This is the only part of the original A738 that both old & new run on though before the Irvine By-Pass opened in the early 1970s this used to be the A78. It is also the only part of the A738 that is maintained by Transport Scotland. After leaving the modern A78 at the Hawkhill roundabout, we on the original A738. We pass a few fields & the fire station. It is not long though that we enter Killwinning proper. We pass a couple of Schools but it is all run of the mill towns stuff though. We pass Killwinning Station where the Largs Branch Line joins the Glasgow-Sranrear Main-line. After that, we arrive at the A737 TOTSO, which was formed after the A78 By-Pass Kilwinning. This TOTSO marks the end of the road. As usual there are two options. Turn left for Darly, Johnstone & Glasgow or straight head for Irvine & Ayr, which used to be the A78.
The is the level crossing found in Adrossan as it was in 1986. The A738 used to cross it.
Before the Three towns by-pass opened in December 2004, the A738 started on a Traffic light controlled Junction with the A78 in Adrossan. Now Downgraded to B Class & still signed for the ferry to Arran, the road is urban. This part of the road is dead straight though on a hill. In Ardrossan Town, it turns right & it passes the Ardrissan Branch Line to the ferry port. Now the road is on Ardossan South bay. The B714 then takes the bay road while our road turns away from the sea & heads to Saltscoats. On the way towards Stevenston, it has a roundabout in Saltcoats Town Centre. Saltcoats have been heavily been modernised. We pass the Safeway/Morrisons supermarket, where you can park for the superb West End Café. We pass the opened out Saltcoats station (a SPT PTE Station) & we collect the B714, from the seaside. The road now sees the sea again albeit it a distance. It also has green fields for the school we're passing. You now enter Stevenson & after passing houses, you arrive at the A78 where the A738 used to multiplex with the A78. The A738 as the A78 arrives at the B752 roundabout near Ardeer. The next roundabout is for Safeway & shops like McDonalds & B&Q. Yow now at the Hawkhill roundabout. What used to be A78 does a right here to become D2. When the Three Towns By-Pass opened in December 2004, the A738 was rerouted onto the current route.
Original Author(s): A Beaton