|Location Map ( geo)
|10.9 miles (17.5 km)
|A81, A806, A810, A878, A82
|Now part of:
|Route outline (key)
The A876 number was originally used for what is now the A82 Great Western Road extension from central Glasgow west towards Clydebank and Dumbarton. The eastern end in the city centre had originally been numbered as the B810 in 1922, but was renumbered as the A876 when the rest of the route was completed.
Allocation of the number seems to have happened in 1926 or 1927 since it was shown on the Newnes Motorists Touring Guide published in 1927. This would also fit in with the A877 and A878 numbers which were used elsewhere in western Glasgow. However, the full story is not that simple, and at present still somewhat confused. Some diligent research through old newspapers has helped to piece together part of the story, but there are still some questions regarding the precise timelines of the A876.
Although most of the new road from Anniesland Cross to Bowling had been completed in 1927, there was a 1200 yard gap around the Forth and Clyde Canal, while legal wranglings were concluded before the canal bridge could be built. Cloberhill Bridge was finally opened on 16 September 1930, completing the new Great Western Road through route.
The first definite reference, seen so far, to the A876 number being used and open to traffic applies to the Duntocher to Bowling section in a July 1927 roadworks report, although this section of road had opened in December 1925 with no road number mentioned in reports seen. The 3 miles and 3 furlongs (Google says that it is 3.2 miles) long proposed route given in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald report on 7 September 1923 was from the west end of the Glasgow Boulevard, a point near to Auchentoshan Farm, Duntocher (approximately the A810 / A82 junction) to the junction with the existing main road along the Clyde towards Dunbarton at a point opposite Dunglass Castle (now Dunglass Roundabout). 'Glasgow Boulevard' would be a local reference to the extended Great Western Road as we now know it, which was at or nearing the end of the tendering process in September 1923.
Continuing east from Duntocher, the only junction with a classified road before the missing canal bridge (between 1927 and 1930) was the original line of the B814, now the A8014. Equally, there were no classified roads between Anniesland Cross and the canal on the city side. It therefore seems highly unlikely that the number was allocated to either of these dead ends prior to the completion of the bridge in 1930. On the other hand, however, the original purpose of road numbers, as intended by the government, was simply an internal reference to guide maintenance and spending. It was groups such as the AA/RAC and cycling clubs who realised the benefits for navigation, so in 1927 the fact that the A876 included two dead ends either side of a missing bridge was possibly not so much of an issue for the MOT. At the time the sections of road either side of the missing section had been completed and were available to traffic. The surrounding housing estates largely date from the 1930s, so in 1927 there would have been very little traffic using the new, incomplete road.