Star.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar grey.png


From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (1)
From:  Edinburgh (NT258740)
To:  Leith (NT272764)
Distance:  1.8 miles (2.9 km)
Meets:  A1, A7, B901, B1350, A901, A199
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A900 Edinburgh – Leith
Leith Street, Edinburgh, prior to construction of the St James Quarter

The A900 plays a unique role in the numbering system: it forms the boundary between zones 1 and 9, and is thus the only multiple-digit road to form a complete boundary between numbering zones. It's about a mile and a half long, running from the centre of Edinburgh to the dockside at Leith. Most of the route goes along the street popularly called Leith Walk, although confusingly for much of this length the left and right sides have different and frequently-changing names. With the exception of Leith Street in the centre, the A900 carries tram lines for its full length, forming the bulk of the route from the centre to Newhaven.

The A900 starts at Edinburgh's East End Junction, which is the convergence of the A1, A7 and A8 and so the only point in the country where four numbering zones meet (zones 1, 6, 7 and 9). The first section, Leith Street, has views of Calton Hill (increasingly obscured by office blocks) on the right-hand side and the new St James Quarter shopping centre on the left. Leith Street was D2 for many years, but was converted to S4 as part of the St James Quarter works which shut the road for almost a year. A bidirectional cycle track was added starting at Calton Road, and the previously uncontrolled Calton Road junction was turned into a controlled crossroads incorporating the new St James car park/loading yard access opposite.

After Leith Street the A900 comes to the Picardy Place junction by the red-brick Roman Catholic cathedral. This gyratory replaces a rounabout, accomodating a new tram stop as well as providing access to the St James Quarter car park. This change was controversial, removing a significant amount of existing pedestrian space and established street trees; cycle tracks were added at a fairly late stage of planning as an attempted compromise, and indeed cycling on the three-lane carriageway here would not be for the faint hearted. After here, the route forks to the right as Leith Walk (the name for the main stretch of this road). This section by the Playhouse was notable for the "talking traffic lights" where pedestrians, instead of the usual "beep-beep-beep" noise, used to hear a recorded voice informing them which direction of traffic has been signalled to stop – introduced for the benefit of blind people who might not otherwise know which carriageway is safe to cross. The area to the left of this stretch has a reputation as Edinburgh's gay village and is sometimes known as the "pink triangle". The west side is called Union Place then Antigua Street further north; the east side is Greenside Place then Baxters Place, although there isn't much signage.

After the next junction with the original London Road (B1350), a T-junction converted from a roundabout as part of the tram works, Leith Walk stretches straight ahead as D2 with tram tracks in lane 2. The east side (right hand going down) is known as Elm Row for two blocks. Cycle tracks, unidirectional on both sides from this point, are being added as part of the tram works. Leith Walk and particularly this section is notable for the number of Italian cafés and delicatessens along the route – the area was a focus for Italian immigration after the Second World War. The west side is Gayfield Place, then Haddington Place.

The crossing with Brunswick Road and McDonald Road is one of the few crossroads on Leith Walk where streets to the east and west line up. To the west up McDonald Road is a fire station and a lot of traffic calming; up Brunswick Road until a few years ago was a big Royal Mail sorting office, but this has now been demolished and replaced by flats. The east (right) side of the A900 is here known as Brunswick Place, Croall Place, and Albert Place, while Crichton Place is on the west. Just north of McDonald Road the A900 crosses a railway siding formerly part of the line to Trinity and Granton. On the left at Shrubhill, modern student housing and shops now stand on what was long a derelict lot, home in the early 20th century to the old tram depot and associated power station, and more recently used as a bus depot.

The A900 then reaches Pilrig Street on the left (west), the traditional boundary between Edinburgh and Leith. On the right is the Boundary Bar (for a few years renamed City Limits, now back to the old name) which allows you the choice of drinking in Edinburgh at one side of the public house or Leith at the other. Beyond there the street is a bit less busy although still lined with lots of pubs and cafes and a few other shops. The road is unambiguously known as Leith Walk on both sides from just south of Pilrig Street northwards. The buildings on either side are closer together now and the remaining section has seen much modification as plans for a tram line were advanced, cancelled and then restarted. It is now an S2 shared between trams and general traffic, which also manages to cram in continuous unidirectional cycle tracks, loading/parking bays and bus stops albeit with significantly narrowed pavements at points. Near the bottom, the goods line to Leith Docks formerly crossed the road on a bridge which has now been demolished, but the railway arches by Manderston Street indicate its path. There has been some talk about reconstructing the bridge as part of a cycle route, as yet without firm commitment.

You are now almost at the end of Leith Walk. On the right was the old Leith Central station, now replaced by a children's play centre and supermarket. The road arrives at traffic lights at the "Foot O' Leith Walk", which is the junction with the A901 and (for some) the start of Leith proper. The final stretch is Constitution Street which is tram-only for much of its length. Along Constitution Street the A900 passes Leith Police Station, formerly the town hall, and runs down to the A199, ending at traffic lights by a statue of Robert Burns. Constitution Street continues ahead to the docks, still carrying tram tracks, but the A900 goes no further.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Edinburgh - Leith


Edinburgh Council

Related Pictures
View gallery (1)
Leith Street - Geograph - 1444104.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN1 • NCN75 • NCN76 • A1 • A1/Sandbox • A7 • A8 • A9 • A68 • A70 • A71 • A89 • A90 • A199 • A700 • A701 • A702 • A703 • A720 • A772 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A982 (Edinburgh) • A1140 • A6095 • A6096 (Edinburgh) • A6106 • A7a • B700 • B701 • B900 • B901 • B924 • B1350 • B6415 • B7030 • B9080 • B9085 • Borders Historic Route • E15 • E16 • E31 (via Newcastle) • E32 (Old System) • E100 • Edinburgh - Glasgow New Road • EuroVelo 12 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • Forth Valley Tourist Route • M8 • M9 • M90 • NCN754 • Radical Road • T1 (Britain) • T26 (Britain) • T27 (Britain) • T86 (Britain) • T89 (Britain) • West Approach Road • ZC1 (Edinburgh) • ZC11 (Edinburgh) • ZC12 (Edinburgh) • ZC13 (Edinburgh) • ZC14 (Edinburgh) • ZC15 (Edinburgh) • ZC16 (Edinburgh) • ZC17 (Edinburgh) • ZC18 (Edinburgh) • ZC19 (Edinburgh) • ZC2 (Edinburgh) • ZC20 (Edinburgh) • ZC21 (Edinburgh) • ZC22 (Edinburgh) • ZC23 (Edinburgh) • ZC24 (Edinburgh) • ZC25 (Edinburgh) • ZC26 (Edinburgh) • ZC27 (Edinburgh) • ZC28 (Edinburgh) • ZC29 (Edinburgh) • ZC3 (Edinburgh) • ZC30 (Edinburgh) • ZC31 (Edinburgh) • ZC32 (Edinburgh) • ZC33 (Edinburgh) • ZC4 (Edinburgh) • ZC43 (Edinburgh) • ZC45 (Edinburgh) • ZC5 (Edinburgh) • ZC6 (Edinburgh)
A199 • A901 • A902 • B900 • B901
A900 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A905 • A906 • A907 • A908 • A909 • A910 • A911 • A912 • A913 • A914 • A915 • A916 • A917 • A918 • A919

A920 • A921 • A922 • A923 • A924 • A925 • A926 • A927 • A928 • A929 • A930 • A931 • A932 • A933 • A934 • A935 • A936 • A937 • A938 • A939
A940 • A941 • A942 • A943 • A944 • A945 • A946 • A947 • A948 • A949 • A950 • A951 • A952 • A953 • A954 • A955 • A956 • A957 • A958 • A959
A960 • A961 • A962 • A963 • A964 • A965 • A966 • A967 • A968 • A969 • A970 • A971 • A972 • A973 • A974 • A975 • A976 • A977 • A978 • A979
A980 • A981 • A982 • A983 • A984 • A985 • A986 • A987 • A988 • A989 • A990 • A991 • A992 • A993 • A994 • A995 • A996 • A997 • A998 • A999

Defunct Itineries: A920 (Perth) • A920 (Banff) • A921 (Perth) • A921 (Fife) • A922 • A949 • A951 • A968 • A982

SABRE - The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Discuss - Digest - Discover - Help