A859 (Callanish - Barvas)
|Distance:||21 miles (33.8 km)|
|Met:||A858, A857, B896|
|Now part of:||A858|
|Route outline (key)|
According to the 1922 Road Lists, the A859 (the highest numbered A8xx road in the original allocation) originally connected the A858 at Callanish to the A857 at Barvas, a job now done quite happily by the A858 itself.
It seems a mystery as to why this route was allocated its own number, meaning that the three original Class I roads in the Western Isles formed a circuit on Lewis, with the A859 meeting the other two roads end-on. Indeed, no Class I road ran south from Stornoway towards Harris. That road was classified - but given the number B897. Perhaps the crossing into Harris was deemed too treacherous, or too unlikely, to be given A-road status.
The original routing of the A859 was soon seen to be a mistake and the number was moved to its current route within a couple of years. The change was certainly made no later than 1926 when the A876 number was issued in Glasgow, as the A868 in Tarbert on Harris was issued at the same time or after the A859 number was re-used. The original A859 was initially downgraded to become the B896 before it became an extension of the A858 in 1935.