|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||1.7 miles (2.7 km)|
|Met:||M9, A904, A90|
|Now part of:||B800|
|Route outline (key)|
The A8000 was an A-road which used to be one of the most important roads in Scotland, essentially performing the function which should have been given to a motorway or dual carriageway - that of carrying traffic from the M9 through to the A90 and across the Forth Road Bridge. But instead of being a motorway, this was in fact just an ordinary single-carriageway road, without even the status of a trunk road.
Formerly the B800, it was renumbered in the early 1970s to A8000 when the M9 opened, and all traffic to and from the Forth Road Bridge and the M9 had to use this short stretch of single carriageway. It became legendary for all the wrong reasons, namely traffic jams for its entire length for much of the day.
According to the relevant 1971 OS One Inch map, the entire B800 was upgraded to A8000 when the M9 spur opened, though the 1973 OS Quarter Inch map shows only the section north of the M9 spur as A8000; meaning that either the 1971 map is in error, or the section south of M9 was rapidly reverted to B800.
In 2007 the A8000 was finally relieved of its burden when the M9 spur was extended to meet the A90 at a new junction, and the A8000 fell back to its previous use as an anonymous local access road. Lack of trunk road status had previously led to endless disputes about who should pay for upgrading the route; funding for the extension was finally agreed to be shared by the Scottish Executive and the Forth Estuary Transport Authority.
It was thought that once the M9 spur was complete the road would revert back to its former B800 number, but instead it was retained as A8000, albeit as non-primary, with the curious situation of the road seemingly arbitrarily changing from A8000 to B800 under the M9 where the roundabout junction used to sit. Eventually, however, it did revert back to its old number in September 2009.
The main reason you would be finding yourself on the B800 these days is to access the retail park close to the Forth Road Bridge.
The A8000's main claim to fame now is as an historical anomaly, much to the relief of drivers who no longer have to endure the road's legendary traffic.