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The A9 is a major road running from the Falkirk council area in central Scotland to Scrabster Harbour, Thurso in the far north, via Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Perth and Inverness. At 273 miles (439 km), it is the longest road in Scotland and the fifth-longest A-road in the United Kingdom. Historically it was the main road between Edinburgh and John o' Groats, and has been called the spine of Scotland.
In the south the road's importance has been eclipsed by the A90 across the Forth Road Bridge and the M90 motorway, which now link Edinburgh more directly with Perth, bypassing Stirling and Bridge of Allan as formerly important bridge points, and the M9, which is now the main road between Edinburgh and Bridge of Allan. Between Edinburgh and Falkirk the old A9 route has been reclassified into the A803 and the B9080 amongst others; part of the route between Kirkliston and Maybury no longer exists as the area is now part of Edinburgh Airport. Between Falkirk and Bridge of Allan, the A9 survives as a more or less parallel road to the M9.
The link between the M9 and the A9, by Bridge of Allan, is the Keir Roundabout.
The A9 begins at the M9 junction 5 (Cadgers Brae) north of Polmont and continues through Falkirk, Larbert and Stirling. It then becomes a primary route dual carriageway at the Kier Roundabout and continues to Perth bypassing Dunblane, Blackford and Gleneagles.
At Broxden Junction on the outskirts of Perth, the A9 meets the M90 Motorway, carrying traffic from Fife and the Forth Road Bridge. Broxden Junction is one of the busiest and most important road junctions in Scotland, with links to all seven Scottish cities.
The section between Perth and Inverness is often cited as being the most dangerous section of the road, and regularly appears in lists of Scotland's most dangerous roads. This portion of the road is mostly single-carriageway, however improvements have seen sections of dual carriageway constructed, as well as shorter overtaking lanes to reduce frustration and accidents. All the towns on this section of the route have now been bypassed.
In the north, beyond Inverness, the A9 designation has been transferred in response to construction of new bridges across the Moray Firth (the Kessock Bridge), the Cromarty Firth and the Dornoch Firth; and so that the A9 leads not to John o' Groats but to Scrabster Harbour, Thurso, where a government-supported ferry service takes traffic to and from Stromness in Orkney. Therefore various towns and villages which were on the A9 are now seriously distanced from this trunk road.
Between Perth and Inverness, the A9 forms part of Euroroute E15. Inverness is the northern terminus of this route, and it runs south to the southern Spanish town of Algeciras.
Important Links for the A9 road:
Transport Scotland A9 dualling
Twitter A9 updates and traffic news
Murdo Fraser - Dual the A9 campaign
1962 film of the creation of the A9
Dual the A9 Facebook campaign
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