Star.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar grey.png


From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (39)
From:  Langbank (NS377735)
To:  Millarston (NS456634)
Via:  Johnstone
Distance:  10.1 miles (16.3 km)
Meets:  A8, B786, B788, B790, A761 A737, B787, A761
Former Number(s):  A8, B788, A737
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B789 Langbank - Houston
(B790) Houston
B789 Houston - Millarston
This article is about the current B789 from Johnstone to the Firth of Clyde.
For the original B789 to the west of Paisley, see B789 (Paisley)

The B789 is a link road in central Renfrewshire. It runs from the A8 at the west side of the village of Langbank on the south bank of the Clyde, through rolling countryside to to pass through the villages of Houston and Crosslee, then the town of Johnstone before ending at the A761 at the east side of the old village of Elderslie.


Langbank to Houston

The B789 bears right at this point, where the Old Greenock Road continues straight ahead

The route starts at what is now a westbound LILO on the A8 Langbank bypass. The junction was converted to a LILO when the roundabout on the A8 at the east end of the village was opened. It then heads east along the village Main Street alongside and parallel to the A8. A signalised junction is quickly encountered at Middlepenny Road, which is surprising for such a small village. However, this side road climbs steeply away at an acute angle to serve a large residential area, making some turns difficult. A little past the junction, the houses on the left come to an end as the B789 comes right alongside the A8. The houses on the right are mostly large, detached properties enjoying the views across the Clyde. After passing the railway station the route bears turns sharply left to the Langbank Roundabout back on the A8. However, the mainline of the B789 TOTSOs right on the bend and continues east. Some maps do not show the B789 through Langbank as being part of the B789, presumably as the entire section is bypassed by the A8.

After continuing alongside the A8 for a short distance further the route bends sharply right and goes under the Inverclyde Line railway. Until the bypass was built in the late 1970s, the stretch through the village as far as the railway bridge was the original line of the A8. Climbing out of the village at East Langbank, the Old Greenock Road is soon reached and followed for around 850 metres, curving inland around a low hill. At the junction at Drums Estate, the B789 continues straight ahead and the Old Greenock Road branches off to the left. The route then drops down into a small wooded valley and at the next junction, a minor road links to Bishopton Cemetery and the Old Greenock Road west of Bishopton, but no longer to the A8. After climbing a short hill out of the valley, Riley Road branches off to the left, skirting the site of the massive former ROF Bishopton site, which is now being developed mostly for housing.

A couple more side roads head west soon after, as the road winds gently across the undulating landscape. There is a scattering of houses and farms along the roadside now after a long stretch with none to be seen. At length, the route straightens up and a long straight leads south into Houston. Approaching the outskirts of the village, Chapel Road leads off to the left, closely followed by a crossroads, which marks the Houston boundary.

Houston - Brookfield

View west to the roundabout in Houston where the B789 (foreground) crossed the B790

Houston is the first settlement on the route since leaving Langbank. Barrochan Road leads to a kink by the village War memorial, from where the B789 follows Main Street down into the centre of the village. North Street and South Street, with their terraces of old stone houses and a few shops are crossed and then it climbs to a roundabout on the original line of the B790. This marks the edge of the historic village, with vast modern housing estates sprawling off to the south east. The current line of the B790 follows a bypass, which has been partially engulfed by the development and is reached at a T-junction shortly afterwards. From here there is a short multiplex to the left as far as another roundabout, where the B789 regains its number by turning right. Heading south from the roundabout the B789quickly enters Crosslee. Once a separate village Crosslee has also been greatly expanded by housing developments since the 1970s, which has resulted in the villages becoming more or less contiguous in recent years. Both have retained their charm and character to a large extent, with most of the developments being well screened from view, but the changes are greater and more evident in Crosslee than Houston.

Houston Road winds south between housing estates, with a short wooded section where it comes close to the banks of the River Gryffe (or Gryfe) which has caused flooding in the past, but is now protected by a flood prevention scheme. A more suburban section then leads down to Crosslee Bridge, where the river is crossed, beyond which, open countryside is seen on the right and the Craigends housing estates away to the left. Once clear of the villages, some long straight sections, connected by sharp bends lead past modern housing estates at Brookfield to the Deafhillock Roundabout on the A761.

Brookfield - Elderslie

The much modified street scene at the north approach to Johnstone

Another straight section beyond the roundabout, again named Barrochan Road, leads across fields to the A737, which is crossed over at a signalised dumbbell GSJ. The north approach to Johnstone has been much modified in recent years, with the construction of the A737 bypass and (more recently) developments at the A761 roundabout at Brookfield. The demolition of Patons Mill and the construction of supermarkets and apartment buildings has significantly changed the streetscene on the approach to the town. Signals provide access to the first supermarket, and then the road widens to a short dual carriageway, with two separate bridges carrying traffic across the Black Cart Water. Quickly reducing to a single carriageway again, the High Street leads into the bustling town centre, passing a signalised crossroads where the B787 turns off to the right. Houston Square with its bandstand soon follows on the right. This is the main shopping area of the town, and while there are some fine old buildings, the view ahead is dominated by a tower block rising directly from the roadside.

Shops soon give way to tenerment blocks and houses on Thorn Brae, and then Johnstone railway station (on the Ayrshire Line) with its large Park and Ride car park is passed on the right. The route crosses the railway and follows the residential Thornhill round to a signalised fork junction with Beith Road, which comes in from the right. The B789 bears left at this junction onto the old line of the A737. Main Road is a much wider route at first, with parking bays along both sides and room for a hatched centre lane providing for right turning traffic. Dropping down the hill through pleasant suburbs to Elderslie, the Sir William Wallace monument is passed on the right (Elderslie lays claim to being the birthplace of Wallace). The route continues east, coming close alongside the Ayrshire Line railway and the Malcolm Logistics railhead.

Today Elderslie is little more than a suburb linking the urban areas of Johnstone and Paisley, although it was formerly a village in its own right. The centre of Elderslie still retains a few shops before it merges into the Ferguslie suburb of Paisley. Just after going under a bridge carrying a dismantled railway line (now the NCN75 cycle route), the B789 comes to an end at a roundabout back on the A761.


The B789 in 1932

On classification in 1922 the majority of what is now the B789 was unclassified. The classified section started to the east of Brookfield and was numbered as the B788 through the centre of Johnstone, then as the A737 from there towards Paisley. By 1932 a large section of the B788 had been upgraded to Class I status, becoming the A761. However, this bypassed Johnstone, and went through Linwood instead on the original line of the B789 so the two routes sort of swapped numbers and the old road through Johnstone became the B789. The route was extended north to meet the A8 to the east of Langbank at some point before 1936, although as it is not included in the documents for 1934, 35 or 36, it can be presumed this happened in 1933. In more recent years the A8 in the north and A737 in the south have both been moved onto bypasses, so the B789 has been extended along their pre-bypass routes to form the current route.

The original line of the B789 between Houston and Crosslee was also originally slightly different. From the T junction where it now meets the B790 bypass, it actually continued straight ahead past the cemetery. However, the junction has been redesigned and the old alignment of Houston Road has had a school built on top of it and is no longer a through route.

Related Pictures
View gallery (39)
A8 Langbank roundabout - Geograph - 6103395.jpgThe B789 Barochan Road - Geograph - 5906167.jpgB789 junction with Houston Road - Geograph - 4950930.jpgEntrance to Drums Estate - Geograph - 2464521.jpgThe B789 to Johnstone - Geograph - 2394987.jpg
Other nearby roads
B700 – B799
B700 • B701 • B702 • B703 • B704 • B705 • B706 • B707 • B708 • B709 • B710 • B711 • B712 • B713 • B714 • B715 • B716 • B717 • B718 • B719
B720 • B721 • B722 • B723 • B724 • B725 • B726 • B727 • B728 • B729 • B730 • B731 • B732 • B733 • B734 • B735 • B736 • B737 • B738 • B739
B740 • B741 • B742 • B743 • B744 • B745 • B746 • B747 • B748 • B749 • B750 • B751 • B752 • B753 • B754 • B755 • B756 • B757 • B758 • B759
B760 • B761 • B762 • B763 • B764 • B765 • B766 • B767 • B768 • B769 • B770 • B771 • B772 • B773 • B774 • B775 • B776 • B777 • B778 • B779
B780 • B781 • B782 • B783 • B784 • B785 • B786 • B787 • B788 • B789 • B790 • B791 • B792 • B793 • B794 • B795 • B796 • B797 • B798 • B799
Earlier versions: B705 • B706 • B707 • B708 • B713(E) • B713(W) • B714 • B715 • B716 • B724 • B727 • B730 • B734
B735 • B736 • B739 (S) • B739 (N) • B743 • B744 • B746 • B752 • B761 • B762 • B763 • B765 • B773 • B783 • B785 • B789 • B791 • B795
Anomalous numbers: B77

SABRE - The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Discuss - Digest - Discover - Help