|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Newport on Tay (NO424266)|
|Distance:||15 miles (24.1 km)|
|Meets:||A92, A912, A916, A91, A919|
|Former Number(s):||A92, B937|
|Old route now:||A92, B946|
|Route outline (key)|
The A914 is a route in north-east Fife that forms a detour of the A92 between Muirhead, north of Glenrothes and Newport, south of the Tay Road Bridge. The A92 and A914 make interesting companions with the latter only a mile or so longer than its trunk road bypass and fortunate enough to serve the largest town in these parts, Cupar. It may not surprise you to learn that the two routes are inexorably linked.
In 1922, the A914 started on the A913 near Parbroath, then followed the current A92 and B946 into Newport on Tay, where it ended on the A92 at the southern end of the Tay Ferry. In 1935, the road was extended southwards from the A913, along what was originally the B937, to meet the A92 again at Muirhead.
The A92 and A914 swapped roles in the early 1990s around the time the A90 was being extended from Perth up the east coast. The trunk route from Glenrothes to Dundee had always been the western one regardless of its number – at least since the days of the Newport-on-Tay bypass and the Tay Road Bridge – and so the swap was made to give it a continuous number. The net result is around 15 miles of A914, split roughly in the middle by three miles of A91 between Cupar and Dairsie.
There are two legacies of this exchange for the A914; firstly just about every sign for the A914 has been patched from A92, and secondly the forward destinations on such are the Forth and Tay Road Bridges, giving the road an apparent delusion of grandeur. This is done mostly at the expense of Cupar, which is now far and away the most likely destination of an A914 user.
Muirhead - Cupar
In a northernly direction, it kicks off at the New Inn Roundabout in Muirhead, also the terminus of the A912 which extends off in a north-westernly direction. Mostly shadowing the Edinburgh to Dundee railway line, it extends more or less directly north-east through Kettlebridge with its narrow main street and Pitlessie with its attractive juxtaposition of farmland and village inn. It’s a good, fast road which is weaved through the hills on either side in the valley of the River Eden.
It’s almost eight miles to the first classified junction, that with the A916. The A914 and A916 run parallel for around three quarters of a mile, the the former in the Eden valley and the latter ambitiously snaking through the hills to its south. The junction here represents a near U-turn for A914 northbound traffic so most continues directly into Cupar. The A914 South Road makes a series of 90-degree turns to bridge first the railway line directly outside Cupar station and then the Eden itself before emerging to the east of the town centre. Whereas the A92 ran directly up the Crossgate, the A914 stays one block to its east.
The A91 emerges from the west to bring an end to the southern section of A914 at a complex double-mini-roundabout junction festooned with lane diagrams and verbose signage. It’s not immediately clear how to get back on to the A914 from here – follow the A91 eastwards for three miles as far as the east end of Dairsie village, where there is a roundabout signed Dundee A914 – as is the new vogue, signing the forward destinations beyond the Bridges instead of the structures themselves.
Dairsie - Newport-on-Tay
From Dairsie northwards the route is much as before, with flatter land to run through than many similar routes even in central Scotland. There’s a roundabout to signal the start of Balmullo but nary another interruption on its high street; the only real drama on the route comes about at St Michaels where huge signs with yellow backing boards bellow at drivers to get their speed down to 30 and give way at the end of the A919, the short-cut between Dundee and St Andrews. There is also an option to take the B945 to the improbably-set seaside village of Tayport.
Two more villages left after this, Pickletillum and Drumoig, combining to form a single golf resort which makes sense given the relative proximity to St Andrews, and then the A92 emerges from between the trees and is junctioned at Forgan Roundabout at the southern end of the Newport-on-Tay bypass, with the bridge itself just over the next hill.