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A951 (Aviemore)

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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Aviemore (NH891116)
To:  Glenmore Lodge, Loch Morlich (NH975097)
Distance:  6 miles (9.7 km)
Met:  A9, B970
Former Number(s):  B970
Now part of:  B970
Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A951 Aviemore - Coylumbridge
A951 Coylumbridge - Loch Morlich
This article is about the former A951 from Aviemore to Coylumbridge.
For the other former A951 in Peterhead, see A951 (Peterhead)

The A951 number was in use from about 1970 until about 1980 for the spur of the B970 from Aviemore south east to Inverdruie and then continuing to Coylumbridge. However, the 1971 and 1972 editions of the Ordnance Survey Route Planning Map shows it as being extended beyond Coylumbridge to the Reindeer House near Loch Morlich, before the 1973 edition shows it as being cut back to Coylumbridge.

The former A951 at Coylumbridge - this is now a TOTSO for the B970

The road was created as part of the development of Aviemore into a major resort, particularly for winter sports, which had started in the 1960s. Mapping evidence so far discovered suggests that the A951 came into existence late in 1969, or early 1970, and was initially single-track. It was quickly widened to S2 standard - probably the road we see today all the way up to the Cairngorm Car Park. By the summer of 1972 the A951 had been shortened, now terminating at Coylumbridge rather than Loch Morlich. Then in 1971, as first shown on the OS 1:2500 sheet of that year, the final upgrade was the realignment at the Aviemore end, with a new bridge across the Spey, and so over the railway line to the present B970 / B9152 roundabout to the south of Aviemore. This is later shown on the 1974/76 OS Landranger sheet, which also show the route terminating at Coylumbridge. Previously the road had crossed the Spey on the old bridge, then headed north along Dalfaber Road to pass under the railway line on an alignment now used by the NCN route.

Patched sign where the B9152 meets the A9

The A951 seems to have been downgraded once more when the A9 Aviemore bypass opened in about 1980. This saw the route revert to its former number of B970. However, there is some uncertainty surrounding the exact chronology at this point, as some maps show the A9 Aviemore bypass as complete, with the A951 still in place. Further support for this to be the actual situation is found on surrounding signs, which obviously post-date the bypass, and yet have patches to correct numbers - most notably the patching of B970 to Coylumbridge.

Proposed extension

Proposed route of road through Ryvoan Pass

The origins of this route are a bit of a mystery, as explained above. However, the Cairngorm Area - Technical Report 1967 has shed some light on the possible thinking behind the creation of the A951. It explains that the road through Glen More and up to the Cairngorm car park largely dates from 1965-67, and that it was proposed to build another road across the lower slopes of Cairngorm and through the Abernethy Forest to Nethy Bridge. The reasoning behind it was that it would save a whole 5 miles off the route between the recently developed ski resort and Grantown, which at the time was the largest town in the area and the idea seems to have been that it would develop as a resort town.

The route was to fork off the A951 route at Glenmore Lodge, or to be more specific the end of its driveway at the reindeer house. It would then cut through the Ryvoan Pass, and pass Rynettin and Forest Lodge to meet the B970 at Nethy Bridge. From the documents found so far, it doesn't appear that a definitive route was surveyed, but the general principle was in place, and would presumably have been numbered as the A951 if built.

A951 (Aviemore)
Related Pictures
View gallery (12)
B970-new-br-aviemore.jpgB970-old-br-aviemore.jpgCoylum-br2.jpgA951-1974.pngA951 Bartholomew Tourist 1980.png
Other nearby roads
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A920 • A921 • A922 • A923 • A924 • A925 • A926 • A927 • A928 • A929 • A930 • A931 • A932 • A933 • A934 • A935 • A936 • A937 • A938 • A939
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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

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