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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (37)
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 village of Elderslie.


Langbank to Houston

The start of the B789. The junction is now LILO, but this was not always the case
The B789 bears right at this point, where the Old Greenock Road continues straight ahead

The road starts at what is now a westbound LILO on the A8 Langbank bypass (it became LILO when the roundabout on the A8 at the east end of the village was opened) and 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. After passing the railway station the road bears left to a roundabout back on the A8. However, the mainline of the B789 TOTSOs here 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 road 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 until the junction at Drums Estate where B789 continues straight ahead and the Old Greenock Road branches off to the left. The next junction is at Formakyn (The Monkey House) where a narrow road links to Bishopton Cemetery and the Old Greenock Road west of Bishopton, but no longer to the A8.

After climbing a short hill, 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. Soon after, West Glen Road to Kilmacolm branches off to the right, quickly followed by Corsliehill Road, which is also on the right and leads (indirectly) to Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir. The road is rural in nature all the way to Houston, with a few houses and farms along the way.

Approaching the outskirts of Houston, Chapel Road leads off to the left, closely followed by a crossroads where Kilmacolm Road joins on the left and Kilallan Road on the right. This crossroads marks the Houston boundary.

Houston and Crosslee

Houston, looking down Main Street from the War Memorial
View west to the roundabout in Houston where the B789 (foreground) crossed the B790

Presently we reach the village of Houston, which is the first settlement on the road since leaving Langbank. Dropping down a hill from the village War memorial, the road runs along Main Street and then climbs to a roundabout on the original line of the B790. That road's current line, the bypass, is reached at a T-junction shortly afterwards and there is a short multiplex to the left as far as a roundabout where the B789 regains its number by turning right. The original line of the B789 actually continued straight from the above mentioned T-junction, but the road has had a school built on top of it and is no longer a through route.

Heading south from the roundabout the present B789 meets the road's old route as we approach Crosslee. Houston and Crosslee have been greatly expanded by housing developments since the 1970s. This 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.

Crosslee is the bridging point of the River Gryffe (or Gryfe) which has caused flooding in the past, but is now protected by a flood prevention scheme. After crossing the bridge, open countryside is seen on the right and the Craigends housing estates on the left.

Once clear of the villages, there's a dead-straight section then a sharp bend right (a minor road continues straight ahead to Linwood) leading to another dead-straight section which takes us to a roundabout on the A761 at Brookfield. A short distance further on we cross the A737 at a signalised dumbbell GSJ to enter Johnstone.

Johnstone and Elderslie

The much modified street scene at the north approach to Johnstone
View west along the B789 through Elderslie

The north approach to Johnstone has been much modified in recent years, with the construction of the A737 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.

We continue along the High Street, passing Houston Square with its bandstand on the right. This is the main shopping area of the town. Soon, Johnstone railway station (on the Ayrshire Line) with its large Park and Ride car park is passed, also on the right.

Shortly after passing the station and crossing the line by an overbridge, the B787 Beith Road joins from the right at the Thornhill traffic lights. The B789 bears left at this junction and we are now on the old line of the A737.

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 road continues alongside the Ayrshire Line railway and the Malcolm Logistics railhead, through the centre of Elderslie as we merge into the suburbs of Paisley. Just after going under a bridge carrying a dismantled railway line (now carries NCN Route 75) we end at a roundabout back on the A761.


On classification in 1922 the majority of the B789 was unclassified. The classified section started to the east of Brookfield and was numbered B788 through the centre of Johnstone, then 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 so the old road through the town became the B789.

The road was extended north to the A8 to the east of Langbank in 1935. 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.

Related Pictures
View gallery (37)
Approaching the low disused railway bridge over Elderslie Main Road - Geograph - 1649502.jpgCrosslee Bridge - Geograph - 5906169.jpgEntrance to Drums Estate - Geograph - 2464521.jpgRoundabout in Houston - Geograph - 5906202.jpgMain Street Houston - Geograph - 5906206.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 • B743 • B744 • B746 • B752 • B761 • B762 • B763 • B765 • B773 • B783 • B785 • B789 • B791

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