|Location Map ( geo)
|7.2 miles (11.6 km)
|A8, M8, B765, A806, A752, M73, M80
|Old route now:
|M80, A803, A872
|Route outline (key)
Charged with linking Scotland's largest city to one of its most historic, the Glasgow to Stirling A80 formed one side of the a central Scotland triangle with the A8, A9, and Edinburgh as its third point. For all three, their own success has been their downfall as all have required a motorway replacement and over a fifty-year period have been progressively surpassed by their M-titled doppelgangers. The A80 of national importance clung to consequence longer than the other two, still ploughing a ten-mile stretch between two disjointed lengths of M80 until those ends were finally tied together in 2011.
Although the primary part of the A80 has finally fallen by the wayside, there's a fortunate twist in this story as far as this road is concerned. Namely, the anomalous treatment of the road upon its motorway bypassing is the only reason we continue to have an A80 in any guise whatsoever. The M80 replacement came in three roughly equal stretches; Haggs to Stirling (1974), Glasgow to Stepps (1992), then Stepps to Haggs (2011). While the first section of motorway built caused a later downgrade to A872, and the third obliterated the all-purpose route altogether, the nineties upgrade didn't remove the parallel A80 from the maps. What remains then is a six and a half mile stub from Riddrie, eastern Glasgow, via Stepps and Moodiesburn, to the far south-western corner of Cumbernauld.
Glasgow – Mollinsburn
From the SW, the A80 leaves the A8 in the east end of Glasgow at the corner of Alexandra Park, and strikes NE as Cumbernauld Road past Barlinnie prison, crossing the M8 at Junction 12. It heads as a mixture of urban dual and wide four lane road (although it's actually now been downgraded to become two lane plus bus/cycle lane) past Hogganfield Loch to reach Stepps. Beyond Stepps is the Crowwood roundabout, once claimed to be Scotland's busiest, and the previous end of the southern section of the M80. The road to the left, the A806, was the through route from the incomplete M80 and so the road ahead was primary and the main road to Stirling, explaining why it becomes dual carriageway here.
The A80 continues northeast, bypassing Muirhead and Chryston (partially 30 mph), and meeting the A752 at either end of the pre-bypass road - traffic lights at the southern end, and a Y junction at the northern end - providing access to the road south. A traffic-light-controlled crossroads at Moodiesburn is another interruption to the flow of traffic before the end at the new Mollinsburn Interchange, where the M80 meets the M73.
Mollinsburn – Haggs (now M80)
Before the extension of the M80 this junction was a simple fork where the M73 turned off the A80. Heading eastwards, the dual carriageway opened out to 70 mph here. Immediately after the M73/A80 interchange was another interchange serving the western suburbs of the new town of Cumbernauld. Another limited access interchange with the A8011 dual carriageway through Cumbernauld, the main part of which sat up on a hill while the A80 passed below.
Shortly after, what was once the congestion-inducing Auchenkilns roundabout was reached, where the B8048 to Kirkintilloch and the once important A73 south to Airdrie (at one time the A73's primary destination was Carlisle) meet. This roundabout was grade-separated in 2005, ahead of the rest of the route, allowing traffic to flow much more freely. Then the road seemed to get better (though still two lane dual), and at this point heading north the flow of traffic normally improved. Another interchange (almost a cloverleaf) saw the A8011 rejoin from Cumbernauld; after this the A80 descended under the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway viaduct, with an arch for each carriageway, at Castlecary (nowhere near Glastonbury), then past a turnoff for the B816 and the UFO capital of Bonnybridge, and across the brand new bridge over the revitalised Forth and Clyde Canal.
Haggs – Stirling (now A872)
Originally, it would have briefly multiplexed with the A803 from Longcroft to Dennyloanhead, before heading north along the now-A872, through Denny, to meet the A9 just south of Stirling at St Ninians.
Stirling – St Andrews (never implemented)
One of the draft proposals from the renumberings of 1935 would have seen the A80 extended east of Stirling along the entire route of the A91 to St Andrews. The suggestion has 'Agreed' noted in the margin, but was never subsequently carried through.
History and Opening Dates
In the early 1950s authorisation was given for the provision of dual carriageways from Glasgow City Boundary to a point north of Denny both on the line of the existing road and by means of diversions around built up areas. This was constructed as follows:
|Glasgow City Boundary to Cardowen Road, Stepps
|The 1.1 mile online dualling of Cumbernauld Road was completed in October 1955 per the 1957 Scottish Roads Report.. It was a divided 44 foot carriageway since the original road was well built up and there was limited space.
|Cardowen Road, Stepps to Muirhead
|The 1.25 mile online dualling of Cumbernauld Road was opened in February 1956 per the 1957 Scottish Roads Report.
|Muirhead to Mollinsburn
|The 2.25 mile online dualling of Cumbernauld Road north-east from Bedlay Lodge was completed in the 15 months to 31 March 1960 per the 1959-60 Scottish Roads Report. It was described as nearly completed in the 1958 Report.
|The 0.85 mile dual carriageway bypass was opened to traffic in the 15 months to 31 March 1961 per the 1960-61 Scottish Roads Report. The 1959-60 Report had given a completion due date of the end of September 1960. It may have opened in 1961.
|Castlecary to north of Dunipace. The scheme was listed as Haggs to north of Dunipace, but from the distance stated it would appear to have continued to Castlecary. One carriageway was to open in 3 or 4 weeks time per Hansard of 15 June 1964, with both carriageways open by October 1964. Opened in July 1964 per the 1964 Scottish Development Department Report 4.68 mile dual carriageway. Cost £2.01 million. Later became part of M80.
|Opened in July 1964 per the 1964 Scottish Development Department Report. Works would appeared to have continued since it was described as virtually completed at the year end. Later became part of M80.
|Cumbernauld (west of) - Castlecary
|The 3.4 mile dual carriageway was completed in 1965 per the 1965 Scottish Development Department Report. From the distance it would appear to have started from the east end of the online dualling section. Cost £1.2 million. Later became part of M80.
Haggs - Ingliston motorway upgrade
The existing A80 dual carriageway (opened in 1964) from J7 Haggs Junction to Ingliston, 1 mile north of Dunipace, was upgraded to M80 on 22 May 1974. The original Ingliston roundabout connection was removed. It coincided with the opening of the new M80 section from Ingliston to Pirnhall.
Stepps - Haggs motorway replacement
Construction began on the M80 Stepps to Haggs project in 2009 and was completed in 2011. This scheme consisted of three sections:
- Stepps to Mollinsburn: 8 km of new offline D2M, diverging from the existing M80 at Hornshill Junction and joining the route of the A80 at Mollinsburn
- Mollinsburn to Auchenkilns: the upgrading of 2.7 km of the present A80 to D3M from Mollinsburn to the western side of the new Auchenkilns Junction
- Auchenkilns to Haggs - the upgrading of 7.3 km of the A80 to D2M to meet up with the M80 at Haggs. Includes a climbing lane between Castlecary and Haggs on the eastbound carriageway and between Castlecary to Old Inns on the westbound carriageway.