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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (26)
From:  Kincardine Bridge (NS919868)
To:  Rosyth (NT124835)
Distance:  13.8 miles (22.2 km)
Meets:  A876, A977, B9037, A994, B9156, B980, M90, A90, A921
Former Number(s):  A876, B911, B912, A906
Old route now:  A977, B9037, A921
Highway Authorities

Transport Scotland

Traditional Counties

Fife • Stirlingshire

Route outline (key)
A985 Clackmannan – Kincardine
A985 Kincardine Bridge – Rosyth
A985 Rosyth – Inverkeithing

The A985 is the link road on the north bank of the River Forth from the busy Kincardine Bridge to the super-busy Queensferry Crossing.


The Kincardine Bridge

The route actually starts on the A876 roundabout on the west bank of the Forth just a few yards from the Kincardine Bridge. The road then crosses the bridge (opened in 1936 but numbered A876 until December 2008 when that route was rerouted onto the nearby Clackmannanshire Bridge) to arrive at its short-lived western terminus of July 2004 on the edge of Kincardine. A detached section of the A876 then heads east into the town along the Northern Approach Road whilst the A985 runs along the WS2+1 Eastern Link Road to by-pass Kincardine to the south. The next junction is with the A977 at Longannet Roundabout after which the original line of the A985 is met.

The A985 climbs steaily up to the Devlia Forest, with a range of popular walks, and cuts through its south east corner before crossing farmland on the hill above Culross, and with Grangemouth Oil Refinery in view across the river. The road can get busy here, though it's only at peak times and there is certainly no need for an upgrade to motorway. An unclassified road turns right and drops down the hill to Culross and its Palace, run by NTS and soon after the B9037 comes in from the north for a short multiplex before the southerly section of that road heads off through Valleyfield along the old route of the A985. The A985 now bypasses Valleyfield and the neighbouring villages of Newmills and Torryburn, crossing the deep cutting of the Bluther Burn on a high bridge.


At the end of the long straights of the bypass, the road curves towards the south to reach the Cairneyhill Roundabout where it meets the eastern end of the B9037 and the A994 which heads east to Dunfermline. After crossing the railway, the route is back on its original alignment, curving eastwards once more as it passes the small village of Crombie. A right turn drops down to the pretty coastal villages of Charlestown and Limekilns, but the A985 stays away from the shore as it winds gently through the agricultural landscape. The road then passes under the freight-only railway branch line for Charlestown before curving south past the B9156, another road to Dunfermline. A right turn leads back to Limekilns as the route curves back to the east and very soon reaches the western edge of Rosyth.

As the A985 makes its way into Rosyth, the industrial area around the docks is just about visible across the field to the right, but most is hidden by the slope down to the Forth. The first roundabout was originally built outside the town, but the Admiralty Park development has grown up around it. The second roundabout lies about 500m further east and is for the B980, which takes traffic north to the A823 and A823(M) (originally planned as M92) - it's actually D2 all the way to Dunfermline from here. This marks the start of Rosyth proper, and it can be a little slow going especially as the B980 multiplexes east to the next roundabout. This is Admiralty Road, with a long line of inter-war semis on the left, and newer local authority housing set back behind parkland on the right.

The third roundabout is for the B980 for North Queensferry, the old way to cross the Forth via the ferry before the Forth Road Bridge was built in 1964. Continuing east along Admiralty Road, the houses are now terraced, but still date from the development of Rosyth between the wars in a garden village style. After another 500m or so, the road reaches the M90 at J1C. Ahead is the A921 for Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy, turn left for the M90 to Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, or right to cross over the Forth for Edinburgh. This is now the end of the A985, although the A921 continuing ahead remains the Fife coast road along the Forth, and the change in number seems somewhat arbitrary.


The A985 originally ended near Clackmannan

The major part of the present A985 was originally a B-road, or rather two B-roads. The western section was the B911 from its junction with the A907 near the present-day Gartarry roundabout, to the east of Clackmannan, to its junction with the B912 east of Torryburn. The eastern section was the entire length of the short B912 to its junction with the A906 at Broomhall. This road was upgraded to Class I status, becoming the A985, in the early 1930s.

In 1935 the A977, formerly a short road west of Kinross, was extended west over the new Kincardine Bridge. This took over the section of A985 from Kincardine to Kilbagie; although a short detached section survived, merely to cut off the corner to the westbound A907. This short section was declassified when the Clackmannan Bypass was built; and has now been severed by the A876 and is only just visible today.

A bypassed and abandoned section of former A985 near Torryburn

The A985 was extended at the eastern end after World War II taking over the route of the A906 through Rosyth, crossing the A823 (now B980) and terminating at a junction with the A90 (now B981) just north of Inverkeithing. The construction of the Forth Road Bridge and the new motorway to the north in the early 1960s resulted in the east end of the A985 now terminating at the Admiralty Junction on the A90. The road into Inverkeithing now became the western end of the A92 and is now part of the A921. Further changes to the A985 included a by-pass for High Valleyfield and Torryburn, which opened in 1962 (the old road is now B9037). This comprised a new stretch of road terminating in a new roundabout on the site of the junction with the A994. This included a slight realignment of the A985 and a new bridge over the railway. The old alignment can still be seen to the south of the present road.

On 5 July 2004 the Kincardine Eastern Link Road was opened which effectively by-passed Kincardine to the south (extending the A977 slightly) and improved access to the Kincardine Bridge. The most recent change, in 2008, was the extension of the A985 over the Kincardine Bridge itself (formerly the A876) to meet the new line of that road at a roundabout on the far side of the Forth.


Two issues which have long been discussed in relation to the A985 are converting it from S2 to D2; and realignment to by-pass the bottleneck at Rosyth, most probably by linking up to the A823(M) at Pitreavie. Unfortunately, neither seems likely to come to fruition in the near future. This means that the A985 will continue to be a regular feature on the traffic news.


Kincardine Bridge

Related Pictures
View gallery (26)
Kincardine-br3.jpgKincardine-br8.jpgA985-kincardine1.jpgAnother Bit of the Old A985 - Geograph - 3083913.jpgRoundabout - Geograph - 470816.jpg
Other nearby roads
Kincardine Bridge
A88 • A876 • A905 • A977 • B9037 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • M876 • T92 (Britain)
NCN76 • A90 • A823 • A823(M) • A906 • B980 • B9156 • E15 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • M90
Forth Road Bridge
NCN1 • A90 • A92 • A823(M) • A904 • A921 • A8000 • A9000 • B800 • B907 • B924 • B980 • B981 • E15 • E32 (Old System) • EuroVelo 12 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • Forth Valley Tourist Route • M9 • M90 • T93 (Britain)
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

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