|Location Map ( geo)
|Glasgow Inner Ring Road
|2.5 miles (4 km)
|A814, M8, A82, M8, A81, A879, A803, M8, A8
|Route outline (key)
The A804 is essentially the all-purpose version of the M8 Glasgow Inner Ring Road, barely leaving the line of the motorway for its entire route.
Glasgow Inner Ring Road
The A804 beings its life at a junction with the A814 Broomielaw in the Anderston suburb of Glasgow. Well, at least it was a suburb before it was levelled to make way for the M8 and surrounding redevelopments. The terminal junction sits aside the River Clyde and directly under the Kingston Bridge carrying huge amounts of motorway traffic right through the centre of Glasgow. The road parallels its blue-signed cousin on the underpasses up to another junction with the A814 (on an alternative northern routing). This, M8 Junction 19, is one of the busiest junctions in Glasgow, being a major exit for Glasgow City Centre, westbound traffic via the Clydeside Expressway, and for the Scottish Exhibition Centre, and is usually hampered by tailbacks for Expressway traffic seeking the M8 eastbound – with hindsight, the road planners built the free-flow links in the wrong direction, probably anticipating the Glasgow Inner Ring Road which was ultimately never built. This most common movement cuts across A804 traffic, which is severely marginalized at this junction with very slow traffic light priority.
As the A804, North Street, breaks free from this tangle of sliproads, the M8 is headed from bridge into trench, and so the A804 carriageways split and are carried on opposite sides of the motorway, now elevated, albeit at street level, in comparison to the sunken motorway. The A804 then meets St. Vincent Street, a major through-route for suburban traffic to and from the City Centre, and Sauchiehall Street (line of the original A804), another. Sauchiehall Street, combined with Woodlands Road to the north, form Glasgow's version of Charing Cross – complete with entry slip to M8 eastbound at junction 18. The junctions are so close here the numbers seem fairly arbitrary. The Mitchell Library is also passed on the west.
Now the A804 is single carriageway, albeit with a southbound short cut on the far side of the motorway, the two halves having met at Charing Cross, and carries on as St. George's Road, offering a slip westbound to the A82 Great Western Road (directly under two M8 Junction 17 slips) and turns right at St Georges Cross on to Maryhill Road, now headed east-west for another jaunt under the motorway. Traffic gets a chance to join the M8 westbound for the first time directly under the elevated split carriageways and is now New City Road. Soon the terminus of the A81 Garscube Road is met at a roundabout-like traffic light controlled junction, again under the elevated M8.
The carriageway soon performs another sharp right onto Dobbies Loan, terminating the A879 in the process, at M8 Junction 16. Now headed southeast into the City Centre as Dobbies Loan, the route quickly has a change of heart and turns sharply northeast as Kyle Street, then Baird Street (another right hand turn), so skirting the City Centre near Buchanan Bus Station. Another dive under the elevated M8 is performed, and two Junction 15 slips fly overhead. Junction 15 access is made by joining the A803 Springburn Road here, at the A804's terminus in Townhead. Just over two miles in length, this windy route has seen four TOTSOs, and has run in sight of the M8 for almost the entire distance – partly aside it, partly submerged beneath it.