|Via:||South Queensferry, Inverkeithing|
|Distance:||28.7 miles (46.2 km)|
|Meets:||M9, A90, A823(M), A92(M), A92, A91, A93, A9, A85, A90|
|Former Number(s):||M85, M9|
|Route outline (key)|
The M90 is the northernmost motorway in the UK, and Craigend Interchange south of Perth is the northernmost complex interchange.
The spur from Craigend to the eastern side of Perth originally held the number M85, and the M90 number was originally used solely for the western spur. Now both are part of the M90.
A section of M90 less than 2 miles long, and its even shorter spur the A823(M), were the first motorways in Scotland, opening simultaneously with the non-motorway Forth Road Bridge in September 1964. The decision to make them motorways appears to have been taken at a late stage. 50 years to the day later, the M90 Queensferry Crossing officially opened.
The Kinross bypass, which opened in 1972, was the first motorway to be built using an unreinforced concrete surface. Resurfacing work of the whole 8 mile section was completed in December 2017 having been worked on progressively for the past decade. Through this section there is no hard shoulder but frequent lay-bys, some equipped with emergency telephones.
Most of the sections in which the M90 was built ended at temporary termini rather than permanent junctions. The first four sections in historical order were also the four southernmost in geographical order, and the first three were built without hard shoulders. The first two have since had hard shoulders added; this may yet happen to the third.
- 1 Forth Replacement Crossing
- 2 Junctions
- 3 Services
- 4 Opening Dates
- 5 Links
Forth Replacement Crossing
M90 Southern Extension
The M90 was extended southwards, in 2017, across the Firth of Forth via a new cable-stayed bridge as part of the Forth Replacement Crossing project. As part of this project the existing A90 dual carriageway north of the Forth between Rosyth and Inverkeithing was upgraded, along with a section south of the Forth near Scotstoun Interchange (though this did not become motorway). The former M9 Spur also become part of the M90.
Intelligent Transport System
Phase 1 of the Forth Replacement Crossing project involved the upgrading of the M90 motorway between Healbeath Junction (J3) and Admiralty (J1). The existing southbound hard shoulder was adapted for use as a bus lane and overhead gantries were installed. These new gantries carry variable message signs which include the ability to set variable mandatory speed limits - an Intelligent Transport System (ITS). This is the first use of variable mandatory speed limits in Scotland. The new ITS was activated on 4th December 2012. Some of the new gantries carry speed cameras which are used to enforce the variable speed limits.
M9 Junction 1A Upgrade
Previously the M9 Junction 1A only had east-facing slip roads. As part of the Forth Replacement Crossing project this junction was upgraded with new west-facing slip roads, opening on 1st February 2013. The east facing slip roads were also widened to return them to their original 2 lane width. (They were narrowed to a single lane previously for safely reasons). The southbound hard shoulder was also upgraded so it can be used as a bus lane, and an ITS system with variable mandatory speed limits was installed.
The Broxden Roundabout is the northernmost motorway junction in the Great Britain. Found in Perth, it is one of Scotland's busiest and most important junctions. The A9 heads north for its journey to Inverness & the far north of Scotland at this roundabout, whilst southbound the A9 is signed for Stirling and Glasgow and the A93 takes the A9's old route though Perth. The M90 spur meanwhile takes traffic to Dundee, Aberdeen or Edinburgh.
Kinross services are the most northerly services in Great Britain, being located just off junction 6 of the M90. As befits a relatively quiet motorway, it is a very small single-site MSA.