From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||89 miles (143.2 km)|
|Meets:||A907, M90, A909, A910, A921, A911, A912, A914, A91, A913, A914, A991, A930, A972, A930, A933, A934, A935, A937, A90|
|Old route now:||A921, A914, A90, A952|
|Tay Road Bridge|
|Route outline (key)|
Originally Scotland's main east-coast route north of the Firth of Forth, linking Fife, Dundee, Angus, Kincardineshire, Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh, the A92 has a complex history. It's undergone many route changes and also suffered a significant truncation to leave it as the current Dunfermline - Dundee - Stonehaven route. It's now a mixture of trunk and non-primary dual, four-lane and single-carriageway and still forms a very important route through Fife and Angus.
The A92 begins life at J3 of the M90 (Halbeath Junction, east of Dunfermline), although a recent motorway spur (which may or may not be the A92(M)) allows direct access to and from the M90 south by J2A, essentially part of the same interchange. This spur meets the A92 at a limited-access junction east of Crossgates, where the Fife Regional Road begins. This high quality dual carriageway heads east to Kirkcaldy, with full grade-separated junctions for the A909, B9149 and A910. The A92 meets the old A92, now A921/B9130 at a roundabout north of Kirkcaldy, and the dual carriageway swings north, bypassing Thornton to meet the B921 on the outskirts of Glenrothes at a ridiculously large roundabout with confusing lane markings. It's built with the capability for adding a flyover but I can't see it happening.... Still on dual carriageway, the A92 spears through Glenrothes, to meet the A911 at another roundabout. Heading north, A92 traffic must filter into the outside lane to carry straight on at this roundabout.
Now, the A92 is all of a sudden an inadequate single-lane road, winding through woodland between Glenrothes and Markinch. Apparently an upgrade to dual carriageway for this section has been shelved, with 'minor junction improvements' promised instead. North of Glenrothes, dual carriageway starts again, although recent changes to the B969 junction mean that each carriageway is effectively single-lane. Eventually we get two-lane dual carriageway back, only for it to stop again at the New Inn roundabout (A912/A914). It's a single carriageway north now, passing through Freuchie (with its famous cricket team), and following a largely straight route across the flat Howe of Fife. Ladybank is passed to the east of the road, and after a realigned railway bridge (now a double bend and blind summit), the A92 meets the A91 at the Melville Lodge Roundabout.Continuing through the rolling farmland of north-east Fife, the A92 is still single carriageway, where overtaking is possible, and can be fast at night, but a tractor is bad news....A913 crossroads has been altered to become a staggered junction, and the A92 progresses past Rathillet and Kilmany to the B946 left turn, where the mid-1960s approach road to the Tay Bridge begins. Minor roads to Wormit and Leuchars meet at a roundabout, and the A92 climbs to the Forgan roundabout where the A914 from Cupar and St Andrews, and B995 from Newport meet. From here to Dundee is dual carriageway, and the road blasts through the hill to the roundabout at the south end of the Tay Road Bridge. The bridge itself is about a mile and a half of arrow-straight dual carriageway across the silvery Tay, with a constant incline (downhill towards Dundee) and a 50mph speed limit. There's even a pedestrian walkway in the central reservation. The previous southbound-only toll was removed in February 2008. The bridge is managed and maintained by the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board.
On reaching Dundee, there used to be a trumpet junction to allow access to Dundee's inner ring road, the A991 South Marketgait. This was demolished in the 2010s as part of a redevelopment to link Dundee city centre with the riverside and a new flyover is currently under construction which will give the road a single bend to the right as it descends to ground level.
The A92 multiplexes briefly with the A991 (it seems that our number is dominant but this was not the case until recently) before emerging as East Dock Street, still as a trunk road, a four-lane road east past the docks. After a couple of miles the A930 continues straight on to Broughty Ferry while A92 takes a left turn at the Broughty Ferry Road Junction onto Greendykes Avenue. This is a strange dual carriageway through a housing estate where there is barely room for overtaking, mainly due to the narrow lanes and wide central reservation along which a line of pylons runs. This road meets the A972 Kingsway (Dundee outer ring road), B959 and B961 at the Scott Fyffe Roundabout, and the A972 takes the trunk/primary route northwest to meet the A90.
So from now on the A92 is just a secondary Class I route, but is as busy as ever, being a main commuter route. It heads east past the Claypotts junction with the B978 (formerly a notorious roundabout, now a major traffic-light junction). This is now a 40mph dual carriageway with roundabouts through Dundee, (or more accurately along the back of Monifeith as the expected developments to the north have not take place) to Ethiebeaton Park. From here we enter Angus and an increase in speed limit to NSL, from here on to Elliot all junctions are grade separated.
A steep drop to Elliot roundabout takes us into Arbroath, passing Gayfield Park (Arbroath FC, the UK's closest football ground to the sea - about 160 mm away), and bypassing the town centre (30mph though). At a roundabout the A933 heads northwest to Forfar and Brechin, while the A92 continues north towards Inverkeilor which is bypassed. A low bridge means a high-vehicle diversion south of Inverkeilor - not always followed with unfortunate consequences. The A92 keeps slightly inland between Arbroath and Montrose, passing Lunan Bay to the east - it's actually possible to drive from Arbroath to Montrose on minor roads, always keeping coast-side of the A92. The A92 descends towards Montrose, with views to the tidal Montrose basin. The A934 from Forfar joins from the west, and the A92 passes under an arch of the railway viaduct to enter Ferryden, a village which is effectively a suburb of Montrose.
Heading north at a roundabout, the A92 crosses the outflow of Montrose Basin on a new bridge, to enter Montrose proper. A recent relief road means the A92 avoids the main high street, meeting the Brechin (A935) road at a roundabout, and at a Y-junction the Laurencekirk road (A937) veers off northwestwards. North of Montrose, the River North Esk is crossed by a fairly narrow bridge and a couple of bad bends, and now we've left Angus and entered Kincardineshire, now within the Aberdeenshire council area. The A92 continues to follow the coast, through St Cyrus, and as the slopes to the coast get slightly steeper, passes roads to the fishing villages of Johnshaven and Gourdon before entering Inverbervie. There was a tiny piece of dual carriageway just south of Inverbervie but it was removed recently.
Inverbervie is the last place of any size on the A92 north, and the route leaves the town by the high level Bervie Bridge over the Bervie Water. Here, the B967 heads west to Fordoun and the A90 which is by now heading towards the coast (also along the B967 is a centre devoted to the author Lewis Grassick Gibbon. An urban myth is that many tourists turn up at the Grassick Gibbon Centre wondering where the monkeys are...). The last few miles see the A92 pass Kinneff and Catterline (Kinneff church being a temporary resting place for that important piece of Scottish history, the Stone of Destiny). Eventually an extension of the 1984 Stonehaven bypass sees the A92 swing northwestwards to end at a trumpet junction on the A90 just south of Stonehaven. Originally the A92 passed Dunnottar Castle (tourists, film crews, etc.) and wound its way down to meet the old A94 (now A957) in Stonehaven. The final section, from the bend above the harbour is now one-way heading in this direction and has been narrowed by the simple method of placing a barrier down the central reservation to prohibit access to the former southbound carriageway.
The above route in its entirety only dates back to the 1990s, when the road was curtailed considerably at its northern end. However, the road further south also lies some distance from even its 1970s route in places. The major changes are summarised below.
Originally, the A92 left the A90 (now B981) at Inverkeithing to head east along Hillend Road to join what is now the A921 along the Fife coast; then after the Forth Road Bridge appeared in 1964, the A92 was rerouted to reach the M90/A90/A985 at M90 J1. It headed east as a primary trunk to Aberdour, where it lost trunk status to the A987/A907 inland route (Queensferry passage, now B9157) to Kirkcaldy. The A92 continued along the coast through Burntisland and Kinghorn to rejoin the A907 at Kirkcaldy. It carried the trunk road through Kirkcaldy, where for a while the A915 took the trunk route north east towards St Andrews, while the A92 continued north towards Glenrothes. This section was renumbered A921 sometime in the late 1980s and a new road was built west of Kirkcaldy to join the M90 further north.
The A92 originally left the present course of the route at New Inn Roundabout (A914/A912, north of Glenrothes), and headed north east to Cupar as non-primary. It met the A91 at a T junction in Cupar, disappeared for a few miles in a multiplex, before leaving the A91 east of Dairsie and heading north to St Michaels to meet the A919/B945 at a crossroads, turning left and continuing to Newport, meeting the A914 again, where the old Tay ferry departed for Dundee. After the Tay Road Bridge was opened in 1966, the A92 met the A914 at Forgan Roundabout near Newport, and the old A92 into Newport was renamed the B995. In the mid 1990s, the anomaly of the main Fife-Dundee route changing from A92 to A914 and back again was rectified when the A92 and A914 effectively swapped routes.
North of Stonehaven, the A92 ran through Aberdeen. It briefly become the Aberdeen ring road (Anderson Drive) in place of the A947; the original A92 ran along Holburn Street, Union Street and King Street. The A92 then continued north via Ellon and Mintlaw to end on the A98 in Fraserburgh. Most of this was renumbered as an extension of the A90 in the 1990s - but that road detours via Peterhead so the direct route via Mintlaw is now the A952.
With the long-awaited A90 Aberdeen bypass on the cards, it is possible that the A92 may regain some of its lost route. The bypass is planned to leave the current A90 north of Stonehaven and run north to Dyce before heading east to rejoin the A90 near Blackdog. It is likely that the A92 will be extended back to Aberdeen along the route vacated.
The A92's trunk road status has also been quite volatile. I think that it was originally trunk from Inverkeithing to Kirkcaldy, and then to the A91 roundabout, and the A92 from the A91 to Dundee only gained trunk status in the mid 1990s. The A92 from Dundee to Stonehaven was detrunked in the mid-1980s, when the decision was taken to upgrade the inland A929/A94 (now A90) route. North of Aberdeen the old A92 was trunk to the A952 junction NE of Ellon, and lost it until meeting the A952 south of Fraserburgh, possibly explaining why the A90 was routed that way.
- Highways and Byways Route Guide (Fife Regional Road)
- Highways and Byways Route Guide (Arbroath Road)