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B9102

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B9102
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (21)
From:  Dandaleith (NJ287459)
To:  Grantown on Spey (NJ025266)
Distance:  24.6 miles (39.6 km)
Meets:  A941, B9138, A939, A95
Former Number(s):  A95
Highway Authorities

Highland • Moray

Traditional Counties

Moray

Route outline (key)
B9102 Dandaleith - Grantown on Spey

The B9102 is a long link road through Strathspey in Moray, remaining on the north side of the river for its entire route. The road was originally unclassified but had gained its number by 1932.

Junction with the A941

The route starts at a sharply angled T-junction on the A941 to the north of Craigellachie, and briefly runs alongside the A-road before bearing right and climbing steeply through the wood to avoid the steep drop down into the Spey. The road levels out as it emerges from the trees, and left turns lead to a Distillery, Cooperage and bonded warehouses. After winding through fields in the shallow valley of the Burn of Sandyhillock, the route starts to climb once more, with a couple of short straights lifting it past the 200m contour. The number of houses scattered along the roadside increases as the road continues to gently climb, and finds the only really straight section as it approaches Archiestown, a grid-pattern village. The B9102 follows High Street through the small village, reaching a summit of around 230m.

Upper Knockando

The route continues to wind westwards, losing a little height as it dips down to cross the Ballintomb Burn, and then undulates through fields and patches of forestry, with a much larger plantation on the higher slopes to the north. After a couple more miles of short straights and windy bends, a right turn leads to Cardhu and its distillery. The route then descends to cross the Knockando Burn to reach Upper Knockando, with more distilleries away down on the banks of the Spey to the south. The road then climbs again as it turns to the south, before dipping to cross the narrow bridge over the Allt Arder. So far the road has been a good S2, clearly capable of serving the distilleries along its route, but from here on it is noticeably narrower and without a centre line for many miles.

The terrain is now hillier and the road climbs and dips as it meanders southwards, slowly losing height. Presently the B9138 turns off to the left; this is a sharply angled junction and so the B9102 widens to help long vehicles to turn. There is a scattering of houses along the road for the next half mile or so, but the last of these sit next to the old bridge over the Allt a Gheallaidh, with the road now crossing a substantial culvert over the stream. After a brief run alongside the old railway line, now the Speyside Way long distance path, the road curves back towards the west and drops down to follow the River Spey more closely, although it is rarely visible through the trees. The road here is almost single track, certainly traffic needs to slow to pass oncoming vehicles, and the few slightly wider spots are often blocked by parked cars, presumably fishermen in the river.

After a brief section almost on the banks of the Spey, the road starts to climb away through a wood - there's a good view across the valley when the trees clear. Fields open up below the road, while the steeply wooded slopes of the Craig of Callender rise up to the north. The route then turns south again for a time as it curves around the lower slopes of the Hill of Dalchroy, slowly dropping back towards the Spey. The Burn of Tulchan is crossed on Tulchan Bridge and then an unclassified road turns left across the narrow Advie Bridge. Continuing southwestwards, the road follows a straighter route than the invisible winding river, before crossing the Allt a Chuaich. Here, the route turns west and climbs through the burn's narrow valley to Lettoch and the route's summit at over 250m.

A long windy descent then drops the road right back down to the riverbank once more. River and road then diverge for a final time, and the route climbs gently past Delliefure. After a few more miles, largely forested, the road emerges from the trees to cross a golf course. On the far side is Grantown on Spey, with the B9102 passing the town's Grammar School to reach a T-junction on the A939. From here the B9102 is signposted as the scenic route back to Craigellachie. After a multiplex through the town with the A939 for about half a mile, the A road TOTSOs left at traffic lights (look out for the Pre-Worboys signage). The B9102 then follows the southern end of the High Street and Woodlands Terrace back into a wood, after which the route ends at the Inverallan Roundabout on the A95 southern bypass.

History

The eastern end of the B9102 has been substantially improved over recent years to accommodate the significant volume of distillery traffic using the road. When the distilleries were first built, they were served by the Strathspey Railway and its branch lines, but since the railway was closed in the 1960s, all traffic has been by road. The growth of the Speyside Whisky industry since then has seen substantial increases in the number of lorry movements to each site, necessitating substantial improvements to the roads. Strangely, however, the most noticeable realignment lies to the east of Knockando, where a loop of the old road survives to the south of the new road as it climbs up from the burn.

Old Sign near Advie
Old Sign in Grantown

The route has also been extended at either end. At the eastern end, it now uses a short stretch of the former A941, which has been realigned on to an old railway track and a very sharp-angled junction replaced. When the A road followed the foot of the cliff to cross Telford's Craigellachie Bridge, there was an unclassified link joining it at another acute angle for traffic between the B9102 and Craigellachie. That link was closed when the new Craigellachie Bridge opened in 1972, but its line survives, passing through a gap in the barriers, as the road enters the more thickly wooded part of the hill. At Grantown, the B9102 was extended west when the town was bypassed by the A95, and so the section beyond the A939 multiplex was originally the A95.

The route is also unusual in having a selection of old directional signage, including a handful of standard Pre-Worboys signs and several local finger posts in black with white text, as pictured. The history behind these unusual signs is unknown, although they were presumably installed by either the local council or estate.




B9102
Junctions
Crossings
Roads
Places
Related Pictures
View gallery (21)
Spey-Br Cromdale - Coppermine - 20775.jpgSpey-Br Cromdale - Coppermine - 20773.jpgAdvie-br3.jpgAdvie-br1.jpgGrantown-on-Spey - Coppermine - 8866.jpg
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B9993
Earlier iterations: B9111 • B9145 • B9151 • B9164

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