The A8 is a major road in Scotland, connecting Edinburgh to Greenock via Glasgow. Its importance diminished following the construction of the M8 motorway which covers much of the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow (though with interruption).
Route and relationship to M8
The A8 begins at the West End of Edinburgh, in the New Town. The road originally also included Princes Street, but this stretch was declassified, as Princes Street is no longer open to all traffic.
The road continues westwards through into the suburbs of the city past affluent areas of Murrayfield and Corstorphine, often with an accompanying bus lane. Only once the road reaches the A720 City Bypass does it become a primary route, leading out past the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston, and Edinburgh Airport.
At Newbridge, the A8 meets the start of the M8 and M9 motorways. From here the A8 is interrupted; it has been renumbered A89 until Bathgate, A7066 to Whitburn and then B7066 Harthill, until the A8 resumes at Newhouse — precisely where the eastern part of the M8 ends at its Junction 6.
Until Junction 8, the A8 is a dual-carriageway, though not at full motorway standard. After Junction 8 it diverges from the M8 which resumes a course for central Glasgow.
The A8 now winds through suburban Baillieston, Easterhouse and Dennistoun under a 30 mph restriction (often as a three-lane dual-carriageway) into the city centre, where it follows the High Street and then the Saltmarket. It splits for the complex one-way system, recombining before crossing the Clyde near The Gorbals, from where it leads out of town past Ibrox stadium and through Renfrew, passing to the rear of Glasgow International Airport at Inchinnan, constantly close to the M8 until it meets it again at its western end, Junction 31 near Bishopton.
The A8 becomes the primary route again and takes traffic past Port Glasgow. Its terminus is in Greenock at a large roundabout with the A78 road and the A770 to Gourock, which was the former terminus of the A8.
Three short stretches of the A8 are part of three different Euroroutes, as follows:
- The stretch from the western end of the M8 into Greenock is part of the E05.
- Between M8 Junctions 6 and 7 is part of the E16.
- A very short stretch linking the A720 and A902 is part of the E15.