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Dùn Èideann
Location Map ( geo)
Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat - Geograph - 73082.jpg
A view of Edinburgh from the Royal Observatory.
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Highway Authority
Forward Destination on
A1, A7, A8, A68, A71, A90,
A199, A702, A720, A902
Next Primary Destinations
Berwick-upon-Tweed • Carlisle • Forth Road Bridge • Galashiels • Glasgow • Jedburgh • Stirling
Places related to the A1
Places related to the A7
Carlisle • Hawick • Galashiels • Selkirk • Kelso • Dalkeith
Places related to the A8
Places related to the A90
Dundee • Aberdeen • Peterhead • Fraserburgh • Perth • Stonehaven • Rosyth • Kinross • Brechin • Forfar
Places related to the M8
This article is about the city.
For the authority, see Edinburgh Council

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, a World Heritage Site, and a popular destination for both tourists and commuters. It is the hub of Scotland's road numbering system, with the A1, A7 and A8 all terminating at the junction of North Bridge and Princes Street near Waverley Station. The A9 also originally terminated nearby.

The historic centre of Edinburgh is famed for its street layout. The Old Town is constructed with dense high-rise housing either side of the spine of the Royal Mile (comprising the High Street and Canongate) which runs east-west from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. The Old Town lies on a ridge which is linked to the rest of the city by a number of bridges of which the main ones are: the North Bridge and The Mound to the north, and the South Bridge and George IV Bridge to the south. The North and South Bridges, often known simply as The Bridges, form part of the A7.

The oldest part of Edinburgh's New Town is laid out in a grid, considered an exceptional example of Georgian town planning. The southernmost road is Princes Street, historically the end of the A8 to Glasgow. Today most motor vehicles are banned from this street, except buses and taxis, and the main east-west route for cars is Queen Street to the north. Edinburgh is often considered hostile to the motorist, with its compact centre more suitable to navigation on foot; bicycles are problematic due to its hilliness though there have been intermittent attempts at making the city more cycle friendly with good routes in some directions, mainly along old railways and the Union Canal, but some awkward gaps.

The historic centre is surrounded by a number of old villages which are now incorporated into the city, such as Colinton, Corstorphine, Canonmills, Stockbridge, Cramond, and Dean Village. The northern edge of Edinburgh is the Firth of Forth (i.e. estuary of the River Forth), once served by the ports of Granton, Newhaven, and Leith; none are much used these days, although cruise ships call at Leith. To the west of the city is Edinburgh airport, one of the UK's busiest. Edinburgh has a successful and popular bus network run by Lothian, one of the few publicly-owned bus operators remaining in the UK. It also has a single tram line which runs from the airport to Newhaven on the coast via the centre and Leith. This proved expensive and controversial during construction with long delays and cost overruns necessitating scaling back the plans although the previously cancelled section to Leith and Newhaven was finally completed in 2023.

Edinburgh has a modern, D2 grade separated bypass, the A720, connecting the A8 and A1 around the southern part of the city. This replaces the earlier southern ring road, now the B701, which used urban roads. The A902 and A199 together form a sort of northern bypass, from the A8 at Maybury Junction through Barnton Junction, Crewe Toll, Leith and Portobello, mostly on 30-limit urban roads. Within those, the B900 and B700/A700 approximately bypass the city centre to the north and south: the former is a jagged patchwork from Craigleith to Leith, and the latter includes Morrison Street from Haymarket and Melville Drive through the Meadows.

A low emission zone, bounded roughly by A700 to the south and west, Queen Street to the north and The Pleasance to the east, was introduced in 2022 and will be enforced from 1 June 2024.


The proposed Edinburgh Inner Ring Road

Edinburgh grew rapidly in the 1920s and 30s, and much of the outlying road network dates to this era, such as Maybury Road (A902) and Telford Road (originally A982), as well as now-closed sections like the A9 from Maybury.

After World War 2, from the 1949 Civic Survey and Plan, there were various exotic plans for urban motorways through the centre of Edinburgh, including various ideas for inner ring roads with a mix of underground and elevated sections, none of which came to be. The contrast with Glasgow is obvious.

The first Forth Road Bridge opened in 1964, almost making Dunfermline and southern Fife into suburbs of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh was conceived as the hub of Scotland's motorway system, but initially none of the roads got very close. The M8 got to Newbridge in 1971, but no closer for a long time; by 1972 the M9 ran from Newbridge to south of Stirling; the M90 remained in Fife; and there is no M7.

The West Approach Road was completed in 1974 per the 1974 Scottish Development Department Report. It was then noted as a potential Principal Road. There was no later westwards extension.

The A720 bypass was built from 1980 to 1990. This was followed by the M8 extension to the bypass in 1995 and then the grade-separated link from the M9 to the Forth Road Bridge followed in stages (now part of the M90).

In 2005 Edinburgh held a referendum on introducing a Congestion Charge. This would have required payments for entering an outer cordon (akin to the area enclosed by the bypass) during the morning rush hour, and for entering the city centre (roughly the Old Town and first New Town) from 7am to 6.30pm. But 74.4% of people voted against. The plans would have (theoretically) paid for 3 tram lines, but instead Edinburgh council proceeded with a more modest tram system, which was further stripped down as costs rose. Edinburgh's first curtailed tram line finally opened on 31 May 2014 from Edinburgh Airport to York Place and, following a second project, the complete line to Newhaven via Leith was finally opened on 7th June 2023.


Route To Notes




Glasgow, Airport, Stirling Glasgow partly via M8, Stirling via M9


Jedburgh, Galashiels Galashiels via A6091


Livingston Goes to Kilmarnock


Forth Road Bridge


Carlisle Via A74(M) and M6. Main west coast route to England.


City Bypass


City Bypass (western section)






Peebles, Penicuik Peebles is accessed via the A703




Royal Botanic Gardens

West Approach Road

Glasgow (M8), Stirling (M9), Livingston (A71) Alternative route out of city centre for light vehicles. Runs on a former railway.


Stirling Now unclassified (and buried under Edinburgh Airport), B9080 and A803


Airport Junction • Baberton Junction • Bankhead Roundabout • Barnton Junction • Blackhall Junction • Calder Junction • Claylands Interchange • Crewe Toll • Dreghorn Junction • Drumbrae Junction • Drumbrae Roundabout • East End Junction • Gillespie Crossroads • Gilmerton Crossroads • Gilmerton Junction (Edinburgh) • Gogar Roundabout • Gowkley Moss Roundabout • Granton Square • Haymarket • Hermiston Gait • Humbie Roundabout • Kaimes Junction • Kirkliston Interchange • Lasswade Junction • Leadburn • Lothianburn Junction • Maybury Junction • Millerhill Junction • Milton Link Junction • New Burnshot Junction • Newbridge Junction • Newcraighall Junction • Old Craighall Junction • Quality St. Junction • Scotstoun Junction • Sheriffhall Roundabout • Sighthill Roundabout • Straiton Junction • Tollcross (Edinburgh) • West End Junction • Winchburgh Junction
NCN1 • NCN75 • NCN76 • A1 • A1/Sandbox • A7 • A8 • A9 • A68 • A70 • A71 • A89 • A90 • A199 • A700 • A701 • A702 • A703 • A720 • A772 • A900 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A982 (Edinburgh) • A1140 • A6095 • A6096 (Edinburgh) • A6106 • A7a • B700 • B701 • B900 • B901 • B924 • B1350 • B6415 • B7030 • B9080 • B9085 • Borders Historic Route • E15 • E16 • E31 (via Newcastle) • E32 (Old System) • E100 • Edinburgh - Glasgow New Road • EuroVelo 12 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • Forth Valley Tourist Route • M8 • M9 • M90 • NCN754 • Radical Road • T1 (Britain) • T26 (Britain) • T27 (Britain) • T86 (Britain) • T89 (Britain) • West Approach Road • ZC1 (Edinburgh) • ZC11 (Edinburgh) • ZC12 (Edinburgh) • ZC13 (Edinburgh) • ZC14 (Edinburgh) • ZC15 (Edinburgh) • ZC16 (Edinburgh) • ZC17 (Edinburgh) • ZC18 (Edinburgh) • ZC19 (Edinburgh) • ZC2 (Edinburgh) • ZC20 (Edinburgh) • ZC21 (Edinburgh) • ZC22 (Edinburgh) • ZC23 (Edinburgh) • ZC24 (Edinburgh) • ZC25 (Edinburgh) • ZC26 (Edinburgh) • ZC27 (Edinburgh) • ZC28 (Edinburgh) • ZC29 (Edinburgh) • ZC3 (Edinburgh) • ZC30 (Edinburgh) • ZC31 (Edinburgh) • ZC32 (Edinburgh) • ZC33 (Edinburgh) • ZC4 (Edinburgh) • ZC43 (Edinburgh) • ZC45 (Edinburgh) • ZC5 (Edinburgh) • ZC6 (Edinburgh)
Related Pictures
View gallery (66)
Barnton crossroads - Geograph - 2048027.jpgEd-stock-br1.jpgGeograph-4408401-by-Malc-McDonald.jpgEdinburgh Centre Plan 1949 - Bridges Bypass and Princes St Bypass - Coppermine - 3813.jpgIMG 5958.JPG Edinburgh Tram.jpg
Places in Scotland
Major CitiesAberdeen • Dundee • Edinburgh • Glasgow • Inverness • Perth • Stirling
Primary DestinationsArbroath • Ayr • Braemar • Campbeltown • Coldstream • Crianlarich • Dumfries • East Kilbride • Elgin • Erskine Bridge • Forfar • Forth Road Bridge • Fort William • Fraserburgh • Galashiels • Greenock • Hawick • Irvine • Jedburgh • Kilmarnock • Kincardine Bridge • Kirkcaldy • Kyle of Lochalsh • Mallaig • Montrose • Newtonmore • Oban • Paisley • Peebles • Peterhead • St Andrews • Stranraer • Tay Bridge • Thurso • Uig • Ullapool • Wick
Other PlacesAberchirder • Aberdeen Airport • Aberfeldy • Aberfoyle • Abington • Airdrie • Alford • Alloa • Alness • Annan • An Tairbeart • Applecross • Ardrossan • Arrochar • Aviemore • Bàgh a' Chaisteil • Ballater • Banchory • Banff • Bathgate • Bowmore • Brechin • Brodick • Buckie • Callander • Castle Douglas • Clydebank • Coatbridge • Comrie • Connel • Coupar Angus • Craigellachie • Craignure • Cromarty • Cumbernauld • Cumnock • Cupar • Dalbeattie • Dalkeith • Dingwall • Dornoch • Dufftown • Dumbarton • Dunbar • Dunblane • Dunfermline • Dunoon • Duns • Durness • Edinburgh Airport • Falkirk • Forres • Girvan • Glasgow Airport • Glenluce • Glenrothes • Gourock • Grantown on Spey • Gretna • Haddington • Hamilton • Helensburgh • Huntly • Inverkip • Inveraray • Inverurie • John o' Groats • Keith • Kelso • Kinlochewe • Kinross • Kirkcudbright • Kirkintilloch • Kirkwall • Kirriemuir • Lairg • Lanark • Largs • Leith • Lerwick • Linlithgow • Livingston • Loch Baghasdail • Loch nam Madadh • Lochgilphead • Lochinver • Lockerbie • Moffat • Motherwell • Nairn • New Galloway • Newton Stewart • Pitlochry • Port Askaig • Port Ellen • Port Glasgow • Portpatrick • Portree • Prestwick Airport • Renfrew • Rosyth • Rothesay • Rutherglen • Selkirk • Stonehaven • Stornoway • Stromness • Tain • Tobermory • Tongue • Wemyss Bay • Whithorn • Wigtown

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