|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||40.7 miles (65.5 km)|
|Meets:||A96, B977, A90, B979, B993, A920, B9170, B9005, B992, B9170, B9024, B9025, B9105, B9026, A98|
|Old route now:||A90|
|Route outline (key)|
The A947 is an awful, busy, terrible route that should be upgraded but it'll never happen. It used to also consist of the Aberdeen Outer Ring Road, but then they renamed that the A92 in about 1993, and then the A90 when it was moved up here a few years later. It passes through Oldmeldrum and Turriff before reaching Banff, and is really boring and there's nothing to note, apart from lots of crashes.
Bucksburn - Banff
The A947 now starts more-or-less in its original 1922 position, at a junction with the A96 in the former village of Bucksburn, now in the periphery of Aberdeen. The old light controlled T-junction was replaced with a new roundabout junction a few hundred yards away, formed on the site of old quarry workings in the late 1980s.
The road carries on through the continuously built-up area comprising Bucksburn, Bankhead, Stoneywood and Dyce. The latter is the location of Aberdeen airport, which in the old days of the prefabricated airport “terminal” was accessed from the A947 – the modern airport building on the other side of the runway is now accessed off the A96. The A947 swings off the old main road through Dyce to run along Riverview Drive overlooking the River Don, past Asda and Dyce Academy and around the outside of modern housing development. It rejoins the old route just outside what was Lawson of Dyce, once famous for pies and meat products.
Leaving the administrative are of the Aberdeen City, the road crosses the River Don. Just beyond this, we meet the B977 at a signal-controlled crossroads. This junction used to be something of an accident blackspot, with the A947 historically featuring a chicane on the main road crossing the line of the disused railway line to Buchan, but the A947 now takes a new line over the A90 (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route). Just past the bridge itself, a junction on the left of the road provides access to and from the northbound A90 (for southbound access, you need to turn onto the B977 eastbound). A couple of miles on we come to the rapidly expanding village of Newmachar. Beyond that is the hamlet of Whiterashes (white rashes, not whiter ashes).
Oldmeldrum, 14 miles from Bucksburn, has seen massive expansion over the past few years and the building of a new secondary school. A new distributor road (the B9170) will relieve some of the pressure on the A947 through the village - but that road forms a western bypass and so is of no use to us. Further on, the small village of Fyvie is the site of the fine Fyvie Castle. Turriff is an important market town serving a large agricultural hinterland and the traditional buildings are mostly sandstone.
The A947 terminates at the junction with the A98 where it crosses the River Deveron. The mouth of the river separates the two towns of Banff and Macduff, the former being the old county town of Banffshire, the latter being an important fishing port with its main tourist attraction being its Marine Aquarium. Technically, therefore, we end in the latter, albeit closer to the former.
There are numerous dangerous bends on the road and precious few safe opportunities for overtaking and the road has a poor reputation for road safety. There are no bypasses, and it all makes for a long journey to Banff.
The road does indeed have an extremely high kill rate - there are many "false straights" on the road that many drivers clearly misjudge when overtaking when in fact there are a number of kinks in the road that make any overtaking manoeuvres very difficult to judge.
There really are only a couple of good spots for truly safe overtaking - the Meldrum straight to the north of Oldmeldrum and the stretch between King Edward and the B9026 (turnoff for Macduff).
There are alternative routes to Banff though - from the centre of Aberdeen I would head along the A956 (King St, Ellon Rd), A90, B999, B9170 through Methlick and New Deer, unc to New Byth, B9027 before heading along the A98.
This one is for the benefit of those travelling from Torphins - B993, turn left at the A944 for about a mile before turning off once more onto the B993 into Inverurie. Those looking for an alternative from Aberdeen can join in the fun here after taking the A96. Take the B9001 (excellent quality B road) as far as the B992 (barely S2) through Auchterless before joining the A947 to the south of Turriff.But if going from Torphins, why not just head up through the A980 through Lumphanan, go north on the A944 from the Bridge of Alford before completing your journey up the A97?
Although the 1922 southern end of the A947 is roughly where it ends now, the A947 once started further south, having been extended around the western edge of Aberdeen in the mid-1930s. It started on the A92 at Bridge of Dee and then followed Anderson Drive round to the A96 at Woodside, where a short multiplex was required to meet up with the original A947. This route is, of course, now the A90 around Aberdeen.