|Location Map ( geo)
|St Ninians (NS794913)
|7.8 miles (12.6 km)
|A803, A883, M9, M80, A91, A9
|Route outline (key)
The A872 is a short route to the south of Stirling, but it was once a road of much greater importance, as it was the route of the A80 before the new bypass was opened in 1964. Renumbering came after the building of what is now the M80 (originally opened as a dual carriageway as the A80), with the A872 number assigned to the section of the former A80, between Dennyloanhead and Dunipace, and subsequently extended north when the motorway was completed.
The A872 therefore starts at Dennyloanhead, where it forks from the A803, close to Junction 8 of the M80/M876, although there is no access to either motorway from here. It soon runs under the M876, without interchange, and passes through the growing suburb of Bankhead which has filled the fields between Dennyloanhead and Denny since the A872 was created. At a roundabout at the southern edge of Denny, the A872 makes a sharp left to follow a semicircular “bypass” around the town, but never quite clearing the newer suburbs. This bypass post dates the motorway, meaning that A80 traffic formerly ran through the town centre. As the road turns back towards its original course, the B818 heads west into the Campsie Fells, while the A872 squeezes between some pre-existing housing to rejoin its original north-south alignment by turning left at a former TOTSO, now a mini roundabout, where straight on is the A883 to Falkirk.
After crossing Denny Bridge, the road runs north through Dunipace, at the northern end of which a wide fork with Avonside Drive shows the original terminus of the route (shown on the 1966 and 1974 OS One Inch Maps). The A872 and A80 met at a roundabout, long since removed, and the A80 quickly resumed its old line. The bypass was upgraded to Motorway and extended north in 1974, and so the two routes now run alongside each other for around two and a half miles up to Pirnhall Interchange where the M9 and M80 meet. This is possibly the largest and most complicated motorway junction in Scotland, with all three options available at the motorway triangle (M80 south, M9 north and south), plus Stirling Services and the start of the A91. The A872 emerges from the other side and rolls into the Stirling suburbs almost immediately. Bannockburn is but a stone's throw away, and here the tourist route is signposted for the Visitor Centre. The sights on the road make the location very clear – stop off here for a drink at the 1314 Inn or a night's stay at the Robert the Bruce Hotel, both of which are passed. The road snakes up the Whins of Milton to end at a roundabout with the A9 in St Ninians. That road continues ahead into Stirling city centre.
The A872 number was only allocated to this route in 1964 when the A80 bypass opened to the south of Dunipace, ultimately becoming the current M80, thus being the main route between Glasgow and Stirling. The A872 initially followed the now unclassified Glasgow Road into Denny town centre, and then the A883 route round to Denny Bridge, but the inner bypass was opened by the end of the 1970s.