|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Loch Laxavat (NB266362)|
|Distance:||5.7 miles (9.2 km)|
|Met (1932):||B8010, B896|
|Route outline (key)|
The now-defunct B8012 was a short route in north Lewis. The road was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1932. However, it was declassified again by the 1970s.
The road originally seems to have run from a junction with the B8010 south east of Loch Laxavat along the Pentland Road up to the B896 (renumbered A858 in 1935) at Carloway. The actual junction at Carloway is not quite as you might expect, however. Instead of meeting directly with the main road, the B8012 ran underneath Carloway Bridge on the main road, alongside the Carloway River, which the B8012 had only just crossed itself, and then turned sharply to run parallel with the B896 until the two met.
The B8012, along with the B8010 and a short part of the A858, forms the Rathad a' Phentland, or Pentland Road. This route opened on 6th September 1912, after campaigns by locals in West Lewis for a more direct route to Stornoway. However, its origins go back at least half a century further. In the 1880s Lord Leverhulme, then-owner of the island of Lewis and Harris, devised a scheme (one of many) to construct a railway from the fishing harbour at Carloway across to Stornoway to speed up the transport of fish to the mainland. The route was surveyed and work began in places, including a number of bridges, but ground to a halt before too long, as the bumpy nature of the modern road still testifies. The junction with the A858 at the western end of the route is probably related to this, with the Pentland Road passing under the A858 on what would have been the railway line.
Going back a stage further, the line of the railway roughly followed the line of a cross-moor track which allegedly dated back 40 years before Leverhulme owned the island.
The 1960s AA Book suggests that for a time the B8012 started much nearer Stornoway, on the former course of the A858 to the east of Loch Vatandip, having taken over much of the B8010. However, this extension was short-lived.