|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Kincardine Bridge (NS919868)|
|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|
|Route outline (key)|
Kincardine Bridge – Rosyth
This road actually starts on the A876 roundabout on the right bank of the Forth just a few yards from the Kincardine Bridge. The road now crosses the bridge (opened in 1936 but numbered A876 until December 2008 when that road 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 we run along the WS2+1 Eastern Link Road to by-pass Kincardine to the south.
The first junction we meet is with the A977 at Longannet Roundabout after which we join the original line of the A985. The road runs mainly in farmland albeit with Grangemouth Oil Refinery in view across the river. It can get busy here, though it's not like the former A80 at Cumbernauld and there is certainly no need for an upgrade to motorway. We meet an unclassified road for Culross and its Palace, run by NTS and then pass a T junction for the B9037 heading north before the southerly section of that road heads off to the south through Newmills; this is actually the old route of the A985.
We now run on the Newmills and Torryburn bypass, though it doesn't feel much like a bypass. We soon reach the Torryburn Roundabout where we meet the A994 for Dunfermline and also the other end of the B9037 and so rejoin the old road. It's now six miles to the M90. Before that, though, we cross the freight-only railway line for Charlestown and then pass the B9156, another road to Dunfermline. Very soon, we hit Rosyth where there are four roundabouts.
The first roundabout is outside the town, probably for an industrial estate (it always is these days). The second is for the B980, that takes traffic to the A823 and A823(M) (originally planed 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. At least it is the outskirts of Rosyth. The third roundabout is for the B980 for North Queensferry, the old way to cross the Forth before the Forth Road Bridge was built in 1964. Certainly you could and still can see the 1890 Forth Rail Bridge. After that, we reach the end of the road and the M90 beckons as we reach J1C. Ahead of us is the A921 for Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy, turn left for the M90 to Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, or head over the Forth to the right to Edinburgh and see the Castle or bypass it with the A720 city bypass. At least you don't have to worry about the tolls now that the Scottish Government has axed them. This now makes this road, the A985, a wee bit quieter but only by a tad.
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; the road reappeared merely to cut off the corner to the westbound A906. This short stub was declassified when the current route of the A906 was built; it has now been severed by the A876 and is only just visible today.
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 A977. 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.