|Location Map ( geo)
|24.1 miles (38.8 km)
|A8, M8, A761, B762, A726, B773, B771, B776, A735, B777, B706, B707, B778, B785, B7080, B769, B7081, A737
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
Hillington - Barrhead
The route starts at a roundabout on the A8 at the Braehead shopping centre on the edge of Renfrew and heads south on Hillington Road, crossing under the M8 at Jct 26. It is a dual carriageway from the start and continues to be as it passes through the Hillington Industrial Estate, also known as Hillington Park, with big signboards in the roundabouts proclaiming this name. The are two roundabouts for the estate, and a couple of single-sided LILO junctions as well. After passing under the railway, residential estates take over with Cardonald to the east and Penilee to the west. The majority of properties are set back behind service roads, with wide grass verges in places. Two signalised T junctions are quickly followed by a roundabout, where the route forks right onto Sandwood Road. At the end of a short straight, the route starts to lose its physical presence, as it narrows to pass between a row of tower blocks. The central reservation then ends, the route becoming S4 as it squeezes between some older houses to meet the A761, Paisley Road.
Paisley Road is dualled, creating a busy signalised crossroads, with the A736 continuing ahead onto Crookston Road. This is also S4, but the houses now face directly onto the road. After crossing the railway, the route enjoys a tree-lined run between a High School and Hospital on the left, and low rise flats on the right. The busier junctions are all controlled by traffic lights. The White Cart Water is then crossed on Howford Bridge, beyond which the route regains the central reservation as it briefly turns south east towards Pollok. Curving back to the south, the route becomes S4 once more, although service roads have resumed for some properties. After passing a supermarket, the housing is more modern, backing onto the road with a screen of mature trees making the route almost feel rural. Older housing then resumes, fronting directly onto the road again, and before long another busy signalised junction is reached.
This is where the A736 meets the B762 at a T-junction in Roughmussel, and turns right at a TOTSO junction created when the A736 was re-routed. Barrhead Road is a wide, tree-lined dual carriageway with very few buildings facing onto it. It doesn't last long, however, as the route soon meets the A726. This is crossed at The Hurlet, a signalised staggered crossroads and heads southwest along Glasgow Road. A narrow strip of fields, survives here, separating the main urban sprawl of Glasgow from Barrhead. Various business premises, and a cemetery sit half hidden behind the trees, however, and after the route crosses the railway Barrhead is reached. An industrial area and retail park are accessed from a roundabout, and then housing estates follow as the route follows Glasgow Road into town. The Levern Water is crossed, and then the route follows Dovecothall Street to Dovecothall Roundabout, where the B773 comes in from the left.
The A736 forks right onto the dualled Main Street, which passes through the very spacious but modern town centre area. The Civic Buildings and a supermarket are housed in rather boxy modern concrete buildings on the right, partially set back behind a car park and town square, while post war blocks of shops and flats above stand opposite. A few older buildings are found further south, including the museum which is housed in one of a pair of rather grand red stone buildings. The dual carriageway comes to an end at the roundabout at Allans Corner, from where the A736 winds southwards along Kelburn Street and Lochlibo Road, through a mixture of suburban housing.
Barrhead - Irvine
As it leaves Barrhead behind, the route drops down into the upper valley of the Levern Water, where it follows the Glasgow to Kilmarnock railway line. Neilston sits up the hill to the left, with two left turns climbing up to it, but the route has always bypassed it and followed this winding route through the tree lined valley. Soon after the second turning for Neilston, a long straight climbs gently and is followed by a more sinuous section, through Shillford and into Uplawmoor Wood. This sits between the village of Uplawmoor, which again sits up the hill to the left, and the small Loch Libo on the far side of the railway. A left turn on a bend is the only real connection into the village, with the A736 crossing the railway just after the junction. The route turns back south, to run between the railway and the Lugton Burn, with the B776 turning off to the right. A couple of short straights, linked by sweeping bends, then lead into the small village of Lugton, where the A735 bears off to the left, taking the railway with it.
The A736 crosses Lugton Bridge, with the B777 turning right immediately after, and then heads south west, crossing fields and passing numerous farms and houses dotted along the roadside. At the tiny village of Burnhouse, the B706 is crossed, but otherwise the route follows a series of easy straights linked by gentle bends across the undulating landscape. Just before Auchentiber the B707 turns right for Dalry, quickly followed by the B778 which heads for Kilwinning. The B778 has a short multiplex with the A736, before turning left to Stewarton. There are, however, surprisingly few settlements along the A736 route, which continues south west past the holiday park and busy crossroads at Torranyard and then squeezes between the abutments of a long removed former railway bridge. The B785 turns right from a sweeping bend, and then the route drops down to the Sourlie Roundabout, where it turns off onto the Girdle Toll bypass on the edge of Irvine.
The route curves across the edge of a nature reserve to the Hill Roundabout, where it turns south again onto Long Drive, a multiplex with the B7080. This was originally intended to be a grade-separated dual carriageway, but while the junctions were built big enough, and the verges are mostly wide enough, the route was never completed. At the Stanecastle Roundabout, the route turns right onto Manson Road, which crosses the A78 Irvine bypass. Unusually, perhaps, there is no intersection with the bypass, so to head north or south the B7080 has to be used. After going over the A78, the A736 continues into Irvine. Manson Road soon becomes Bank Street, which looks like half a dual carriageway, with a service road for houses on the south side only. It soon narrows, however, and runs into town between rows of old stone detached and semi-detached houses, interspersed with some more modern blocks.
Shops then take over, and the route TOTSOs right onto East Road to avoid the pedestrianised town centre, with the B7081 coming in from the left. East Road seems to have more car parks than buildings, and curves left towards the end before the route TOTSOs turns right again onto Burns Street at a mini-roundabout. This is the old A78, and the A736 soon comes to an end at traffic lights on the A737.
From Barrhead to the edge of Irvine, the A736 still essentially follows its original line. However, at either end it has been completely re-routed. The route originally started at Shawlands Cross on the A77 in the Shawlands area of Glasgow. It headed south west on Pollokshaws Road which runs through Pollokshaws. This is now unclassified at first, before becoming part of the B769 after passing under the railway line. At Round Toll, the route turned right onto Barrhead Road, now the dualled B762, to reach its current route at the present A736 / B762 junction in Roughmussel. The current route of the A736 from Braehead was originally the B770. Around the opening of the M8 Renfrew Bypass it was upgraded to Class I status, becoming the A754, only becoming the A736 much later when it was re-routed
In Irvine, the Girdle Toll Bypass (Cairnmount Road) from Hill Roundabout (Long Drive) to Sourlie Roundabout was opened on 14 May 1990 by Ross Belch, Irvine Development Corporation Chairman, the cost was £900,000. This appears to have been the final part of the new route through the town. The A736 had formerly continued along Lochlibo Road through Girdle Toll, and then turned right onto Bank Street, which is now severed by the new road. Bank Street was then followed all the way into the town centre, where it crossed the A78, where it continued ahead onto Bridgegate. The modern shopping centre across the river has destroyed much of the old route, but after passing under the railway, the A736 continued along Montgomery Street and Harbour Street, where it ended somewhere in the harbour area. The original end point appears to have been at the very end of Harbour Street, but later maps show it curtailed at the first kink by the Arts Centre. The route remained unchanged through Irvine as late as 1973, but changes began soon after, with the opening of the bypass in 1976.