|Location Map ( geo)|
|Newbridge Junction from the South|
|Newbridge, West Lothian|
|M9, (M8), A8, A89, B7030|
Newbridge Roundabout might appear to the casual eye to be an unremarkable grade-separated roundabout interchange on the M9, but for 25 years it was a flat roundabout that marked the starting point of both the motorways that radiate from Edinburgh. Approaching from the city along the A8, one could turn left onto the M8 towards Glasgow, or right onto the M9 towards Stirling.
It is numbered as junction 1 on the M9.
The roundabout was built in 1970. According to official notices in the Edinburgh Gazette, the adjacent sections of the two motorways opened within a few days of each other.
On 25 November, a 2-mile section of the M9 opened, from Newbridge to a temporary tie-in with the then A9 (now B9080) at Muriehall, near Winchburgh, together with the short spur from what is now Junction 1A to Humbie Roundabout on the route to the Forth Road Bridge. (At that time a 5-mile section of the M9 existed further north; the two sections were connected in 1972, and the M9 was completed in 1980.)
The Newbridge to Dechmont section of the M8 opened five days later, on 30 November 1970, creating a 23-mile motorway from Newbridge to Newhouse Junction near Glasgow.
According to the plans of that time, Newbridge Roundabout was expected to remain a flat roundabout, as it did not lie on the eventual intended mainline of either motorway.
Going south from Newbridge along the M8, one passed under the railway and curved west, coming to a section of separated carriageways at Claylands intended for a future fork junction. This would allow the M8 mainline to be extended eastwards towards Edinburgh, as has since happened, with the route to/from Newbridge becoming a spur. The north-east arm of today's Claylands Interchange was probably not envisaged at that time.
Going north from Newbridge along the M9, one came immediately to a section of separated carriageways, again intended for a future fork junction. In this case, the Newbridge-bound carriageway already included a bridge under which the future M9 mainline was planned to pass. The planned M9 extension would have headed roughly south-east and would perhaps have crossed over or under the A8 to meet the future M8 somewhere to the east.
In the event, proposals for the M9 extension were dropped, and those for the M8 extension went ahead with the fork at Claylands expanded into a triangular interchange. The extension opened in 1995.
Traffic conditions at Newbridge were by now intolerable and the roundabout was grade separated in 1997. The original roundabout was not big enough to accommodate a motorway underneath and had to be enlarged. The bridge in what was now the southbound off-slip was demolished, but the slip road remained on its original alignment.
Logically one might expect that Claylands Interchange would now be regarded as the start point of the M9 and that Newbridge would be regarded as a junction entirely on the M9, but there is evidence that the authorities still regard Newbridge as the meeting point of the two motorways. Marker posts on the M9 are still numbered from Newbridge.
|Forth Road Bridge (A90), Stirling, Linlithgow|
|Glasgow, Edinburgh, Livingston, Bathgate||Despite appearing on some signs as the M9 (of which it is to all intents and purposes the start), this is technically a branch of the M8.|
|Airport, Ingliston, Royal Highland Centre|
|Newbridge Ind. Estates, Ratho, Wilkieston|
|Glasgow, Livingston, Bathgate|