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B979

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B979
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (36)
From:  Stonehaven (NO874859)
To:  Belscamphie (NJ917189)
Via:  Newmachar
Distance:  34 miles (54.7 km)
Meets:  A957, A90, A92, B9077, A93, B9119, A944, A96, B973, B977, A947, B999
Former Number(s):  A92, B981, B980, B996, B998
Highway Authorities

Aberdeen • Aberdeenshire

Traditional Counties

Aberdeenshire • Kincardineshire

Route outline (key)
B979 Stonehaven
(A90) Stonehaven
B979 Stonehaven - Templars
(B9077) Templars - Ince of Culter
B979 Ince of Culter - Milltimber
(A93) Milltimber - Peterculter
B979 Peterculter - Leddach
(A944) Leddach - Kirton of Skene
B979 Kirton of Skene - Tyrebagger
(A96) Tyrebagger - Blackburn
(B973) Blackburn
B979 Blackburn - Hatton of Fintray
(B977) Hatton of Fintray - Cothal (W)
B979 Cothal (W) - Kinmundie
(A947) Kinmundie - Newmachar
B979 Newmachar - Belscamphie

Were it not for the fact that it zigzags all over the place, the B979 could be seen to be a western bypass of Aberdeen. The reason for this is that the road was greatly extended from its original 1922 route in 1935. Since the opening of the AWPR however, the B979 is even less useful than it was as a through route.

Route

Stonehaven - Peterculter

The B979 heading out of Stonehaven

The current southern end of the B979 is at traffic lights in the centre of Stonehaven, where the A957 turns off to the left. The route heads north along Allardice Street, which was once the main route through the town, kinking left then right to cross the Cowie Water on Cowie Bridge. The bulk of the town lies to the south of the river, with parkland and holiday parks along the coast to the north. The B979 then turns left at a mini-roundabout and soon finds the original line of the route for the first time. A large housing estate sits off to the left, screened by trees, and then the route passes under the Dundee to Aberdeen railway line to reach Stonehaven Junction on the A90. What was once a limited access junction has been thoroughly rebuilt as the southern end of the new A90 fastlink.

Squeezed between the railway and the mainline of the Stonehaven Bypass are two sliproads connecting to the southbound carriageway. These meet at a signalised crossroads, where the B979 temporarily ends, and multiplexes with the A90 under the bypass and along a short section of dual carriageway to a roundabout. Here the sliproads for the northbound carriageway of the bypass (now the A92 to the north) turn right, the A90 mainline continues ahead, and the B979 turns left to Newmains of Ury. After a very short straight, the route then turns sharp right at a T junction, from where a new road continues ahead and is due to connect across to the A957, opening up a vast part of the Ury estate for new developments.

Stonehaven to Peterculter Road

A steep climb follows, with the A90 Fastling just visible at times in a deep cutting down to the right. A series of short straights are followed by a windier wooded section around White Hill, and then a much longer straight through fields. A summit of nearly 150m is eventually reached, before the route dips past Netherley and continues to meander gently northwards. As it descends, it passes nowhere of any size before reaching the Dee valley. Farms are scatttered across the landscape, a few right on the roadside, and there are a couple of rows of roadside houses, but for the most part it is a rural landscape of fields and small patches of woodland. At length, a T-junction is reached on the B9077 (former A943) near Maryculter, which marks the original northern end of the B979.

Since 1934, the B979 has multiplexed east from here, today along the B9077, before it regains its number and turns left, crossing the wide River Dee on Maryculter Bridge. The A90 now also crosses the Dee here, on a new bridge built a short distance downstream. However, as the new road has no junction on the south bank of the river, the B979 still provides an important link in the local road network. A short straight section across the flat river bank then leads to Milltimber and a signalised crossroads on the A93. Ahead a road leads to the Deeside Junction on the A90, and this road was anticipated to become a spur of the B979, if not the A93. In the event, however, it appears to have been left unclassified.

Peterculter - Blackburn

There is then another multiplex heading west for over a mile through the centre of Peterculter before the B979 resumes. It forks to the right onto Malcolm Road, winding through the suburbs of Peterculter. At first it climbs above the Gormack Burn, then when out of town it follows the Culter Burn northwards through fields. After crossing a small valley, the route climbs up to a roundabout where it crosses the B9119 before skirting the western edge of Westhill to reach a T-junction on the A944. There is another, shorter, multiplex west across the fields before the B979 turns off to the right. After a short straight climb, it enters Kirkton of Skene and zigzags through the village. The route then TOTSOs left on the far edge of the village, where a road sign quite unexpectedly points to an airport (presumably Aberdeen / Dyce - but this is not stated).

Junction for Auchronie north of Westhill

After passing a couple of small housing estates, the B979 strikes off northeastwards through fields once more and crosses a saddle between Auchronie Hill and Hill of Keir. This is the summit of the whole route at around 170m. A short distance further on a crossroads is reached. The B979 previously turned left here to pass Mains of Tertowie and reach the A96 to the west of Blackburn. After World War II, however, this section was declassified and the B979 rerouted ahead onto a longer but wider road. "Wider" is of course relative and the B979, which has been steadily S2 for its whole route so far soon loses its centre line. It zigzags across the fields, descending gradually, before skirting the edge of Elrick Hill and winding as it climbs through Clinterty Woods.

Eventually a T-junction is reached on the dualled A96, where a gap in the central reservation provides access to/from the eastbound carriageway. There is now yet another multiplex west for well over a mile along the A96 to a roundabout at the eastern end of the Blackburn bypass. The pre-bypass route of the A96 through Blackburn has for some reason has been numbered as the B973 (although some signs and some maps give it the B979 number instead), so a useless multiplex follows along Main Road into the village centre.

Blackburn - Belscamphie

Near Hatton of Fintray

The B979 turns right off the B973 in the centre of Blackburn and heads north along Fintray Road, passing the school and a series of modern housing estates, all of which back onto the B979, so apart from a handful of houses the road is lined by hedges and garden fences. After leaving town the B979 crosses the fields to go over the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line, turning sharply right on the far side before zigzagging across the floodplain to the River Don. Hatton Bridge carries the road over the river, and it then climbs up to reach Hatton of Fintray, where the B977 comes in from the left. Despite the TOTSO junction, the B977 is then the dominant number in another multiplex for well over a mile north through the village then east until the B979 regains its number by turning left.

The road has again lost its centre line as a series of shortening straights punctuated by sharp bends leads it north eastwards, gently undulating through fields. A couple of longer straights lead through the scattered community of Highlands and on past a golf course before bending sharply left then right and meeting the A947. The B979's final multiplex begins here, and runs north through Newmachar on Oldmeldrum Road. At the far side of the town, the B979 resumes by turning right onto Kingseat Road and curving round modern housing estates. The route then heads east across the fields and runs parallel for a short distance to a dismantled railway line, now part of the Formartine and Buchan long distance footpath.

The route then TOTSOs left to cross the footpath, while the road ahead returns to the A947 to the south of Newmachar and therefore is a shorter route for through traffic on the B979, even though it is not signed as such. Across the bridge, the B979 turns sharply again to follow the old railway south east, before they diverge. The route undulates across the fields before going through the new estate of Kingseat, built on the site of the former Aberdeen Asylum. A slight climb over one final ridge leads to a short sharp descent to its terminus at a T-junction on the B999, ending only a few miles short of reaching the A90 once more.

History

The original stretch of road classified as the B979 in 1922 started on the A92 on the north side of Cowie Bridge in Stonehaven. It then followed the now closed-up loop road around Baird Park before finding the current route. This section appears to have been re-routed when the Stonehaven Bypass opened and the B979 was extended into the town centre. It then ran north to end on the A943 (now the B9077) at Maryculter on the south bank of the Dee.

The road across Maryculter Bridge was originally the B981, and the next section north to Blackburn, meeting the A96 at Kinellar at the western end of the modern bypass, was the B980. Heading north from Blackburn, the route was originally numbered as the B996 as far as the A947, with the final section east of Newmachar being the B998. All of these routes were renumbered as a massive, and messy extension of the B979 in 1934. The only subsequent change to the route is the realignment south of Blackburn which occurred between 1946 and 1956, based on mapping evidence.

Despite its long and meandering journey across Aberdeenshire, the B979 seems to have had very little improvement work carried out to it over the last century, except for those related to the construction of the A90 AWPR. A handful of bends show evidence of being reprofiled and a similar number of junctions have been adjusted to improve visibility, the most substantial of which is the TOTSO next to the old railway bridge near Newmachar.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Stonehaven - Junction with A943 near Peterculter
An official document from 16-5-1934 details the following changes:
To be extended from South of Peterculter to North of Whitecairns over the line of Routes B981, B980, B996 (part) and B998 commencing at a junction with Route A943 (Banchory-Aberdeen) near Inch of Culter, Kincardineshire and proceeding in a general northerly direction via the road hitherto numbered B981 to a junction with Route A93 (Perth-Aberdeen) at Milltimber; Recommencing at a junction with Route A93 at Peterculter and continuing in a general northerly direction by the road hitherto numbered B980 via Denmill and Wester Ord to a junction with Route A944 (Mossat-Aberdeen) about ½ mile west of Elrick; thence from a junction with Route A944 at Kirkton of Skene about 1 mile west of Elrick and continuing in a general northerly direction by the road hitherto numbered B980 via Mains of Keir and West of Tertowie to a junction with Route A96 (Inverness-Aberdeen) at Bogend; thence from a junction with Route A96 at Blackburn, about ¾mile east of Bogend and proceeding northward by the road hitherto numbered B996 via Kinaldie to a junction with Route B977 (ex B995) at Hatton of Fintray; thence from a junction with Route B977 (ex B996) at Garthy about 1½ miles east of Hatton of Fintray and proceeding in a north easterly direction by the road hitherto numbered B996 via Highlands to a junction with Route A947 (Banff-Aberdeen) near North Kinmundy; thence from a junction with Route A947 at Risque about 1¼ miles north of Kinmundy and proceeding in a south easterly direction by the road hitherto numbered B998 via Nether Kingseat to a termination at a junction with Route B999 (Courtstone-Cloverhill) about ¾ mile north west of Whitecairns.





B979
Junctions
Crossings
Roads
Places
Miscellaneous
Related Pictures
View gallery (36)
5-ton weight restriction on B979 - Geograph - 1191656.jpgB979 at South Auchinclech crossroads - Geograph - 1191607.jpgMaryculter bridge from east on north bank - Geograph - 1248843.jpgA90 Stonehaven Junction - link road roundabout direction sign.jpgUpstream face of Cowie Bridge - Geograph - 1379451.jpg
Other nearby roads
Aberdeen
NCN1 • NCN195 • A90 • A92 • A93 • A96 • A943 • A944 • A945 • A946 • A947 • A956 • A974 • A978 • A9011 • A9012 • A9013 • A9103 • A9119 • Angus Coastal Tourist Route • B982 • B983 • B983 (Wapping Street - North Anderson Drive) • B984 • B984 (Mastrick - Bucksburn) • B985 • B985 (Carden Place) • B985 (Union Street - Westburn Road) • B986 • B987 (Aberdeen) • B988 • B988 (Justice Street) • B989 • B990 • B991 • B991 (Bedford Road) • B997 • B999 • B9077 • B9119 • C127C (Aberdeen) • C154C (Aberdeen) • C155C (Aberdeen) • C156C (Aberdeen) • C157C (Aberdeen) • C158C (Aberdeen) • C159C (Aberdeen) • C20C (Aberdeen) • C21C (Aberdeen) • C48C (Aberdeen) • C5K (Aberdeen) • C88C (Aberdeen) • C8K (Aberdeen) • Deeside Tourist Route • E120 (Old System) • EuroVelo 1 • EuroVelo 12 • Highland Tourist Route • North East 250 • North East Coastal Trail • T30 (Britain) • T100 (Britain)
Stonehaven
B900 – B999
B900 • B901 • B902 • B903 • B904 • B905 • B906 • B907 • B908 • B909 • B910 • B911 • B912 • B913 • B914 • B915 • B916 • B917 • B918 • B919
B920 • B921 • B922 • B923 • B924 • B925 • B926 • B927 • B928 • B929 • B930 • B931 • B932 • B933 • B934 • B935 • B936 • B937 • B938 • B939
B940 • B941 • B942 • B943 • B944 • B945 • B946 • B947 • B948 • B949 • B950 • B951 • B952 • B953 • B954 • B955 • B956 • B957 • B958 • B959
B960 • B961 • B962 • B963 • B964 • B965 • B966 • B967 • B968 • B969 • B970 • B971 • B972 • B973 • B974 • B975 • B976 • B977 • B978 • B979
B980 • B981 • B982 • B983 • B984 • B985 • B986 • B987 • B988 • B989 • B990 • B991 • B992 • B993 • B994 • B995 • B996 • B997 • B998 • B999
Former versions: B902 • B906 • B907(W) • B907(E) • B911 • B912 • B924(E) • B924(W) • B937 • B944 • B947
B953 • B963 • B969 • B973 • B974 • B975 • B976 • B978 • B980 • B981 • B983 • B984 • B985 (1) • B985 (2) • B987 • B988 • B991 • B995 • B996 • B998


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