The M9 is a fairly nondescript motorway, despite its important number: it forms part of the trunk route from Scotland's capital city to the far north of the Highlands, but the A9 takes all the really interesting parts of the journey and the motorway is left to cover the first few miles through the central belt.

With two lanes each way for most of its length, it doesn't travel very far and on its own it doesn't lead anywhere spectacularly large or important outside Edinburgh. Its main feature is the contrasting scenery between the peaceful grounds of Linlithgow Palace and the industrious grey of Grangemouth and Bo'ness.

Once upon a time the M8 and M9 both terminated at Newbridge Roundabout on the A8 just west of Edinburgh - not good. In 1992, the M8 was extended west into Edinburgh from a point about two miles south of Newbridge, and as part of the scheme, the M9 was improved and now continues under the roundabout and along the road the M8 left behind. It new terminates on its sibling at a large free-flowing interchange, which makes the whole situation west of Edinburgh considerably tidier.

The M9's only spur, a short dual carriageway headed for the Forth Bridge, has grown considerably in importance and stature. Until 2007, it gave up a couple of miles short of the bridge, and unburdened its considerable traffic load onto a narrow single carriageway road, the A8000. There was great relief when it was extended to reach the A90, and the two-mile extension to this anonymous spur road was one of Scotland's most eagerly awaited transport projects in recent years. It has now been reclassified as part of the M90 in readiness for the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing over the Forth, and will become the new southern end of a major motorway once the new bridge opens and connects it up to the rest of the M90.

Start
Edinburgh
End
Dunblane
Passes
Forth Road Bridge, Kincardine Bridge, Stirling
Connects to
Length
33 miles
Open Junctions Section
Aug 1968 J4-9 Polmont and Falkirk Bypass
Nov 1970 J1-2 Newbridge → Kirkliston (and spur)
Apr 1971 J10-11 Stirling Bypass Stage I
Dec 1972 J2-4 Kirkliston → Lathallan
May 1974 J9-10 Stirling Bypass Stage II
2007 A90 Spur extension

Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
11 Doune
B824
Perth
Bridge of Allan
A9
Dunblane
B8033







B824
NORTH
A9







B8033

A9
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
3 miles, 2 lanes 3 miles, 2 lanes
10 Stirling
Callander
Crianlarich
A84 (A85)
A84
(A85)
A84
(A9)

B8051
Stirling
A84 (A9)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes 5 miles, 2 lanes
9 M80 Glasgow
Carlisle
M80 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanes
2 lanes 2 lanes
9 Stirling
A91

Services Stirling
(M80)

A872
A872

A91
Denny
A872
A91
Services Stirling
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes 5 miles, 2 lanes
8 Glasgow
M876 Link
M876
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
7 Kincardine Bridge
M876 Link
M876 Kincardine Bridge
M876 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 2 lanes 3 miles, 2 lanes
6 A904 A905

A904

A905
Grangemouth
Falkirk
A905 (A904)
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  1 mile, 2 lanes
5 Grangemouth
Falkirk
(A904) A905
A9 A905

A905
Grangemouth
Bo'
ness
A905
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
4 Bathgate
Livingston
A801 (A706)
Polmont
A803
A803

A801

A803
Bathgate
Livingston
A801
Linlithgow
A803
Kirkliston
B9080
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
6 miles, 2 lanes  
3 Linlithgow
A803
Bo'
ness
(A904)
A803 A803
(A904)
LanesLanesLanesLanes
6 miles, 2 lanes 8 miles, 2 lanes
2 B8046 B8046
(A904)
Uphall
B8046
Forth Road Bridge
(A904)
Kincardine Bridge
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  4 miles, 2 lanes
1A Dundee
Perth
M90 Link

M90
Dundee
Perth
M90 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.7 miles, 4 lanes  
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.6 miles, 3 lanes 1.6 miles, 4 lanes
1 Edinburgh Airport
A8
Broxburn
A89
A89

B7030
A8 Edinburgh Airport
A8
Broxburn
A89
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
M8 J2 N/A M8



SOUTH
M8


Edinburgh
M8 Link
Glasgow
Livingston
M8 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Michael Clarkson, Iain Dobson, Paul Kelly and Tim Lidbetter for information on this page.