M90 motorway

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M90 shield

Route information
Part of Tabliczka E15.svg E15
Length: 30.0 mi (48.3 km)
Existed: 1964 – present
History: Constructed 1964–80[1]
Major junctions
From: Junction 1a of the M9
  Junction 2.svg UK-Motorway-A823 (M).svg
A823(M) motorway
To: Perth (two ends; one east 56°22′58″N 3°24′23″W / 56.3827°N 3.4065°W / 56.3827; -3.4065 (M90 motorway (northern end)), one at Broxden Junction 56°23′18″N 3°29′13″W / 56.3882°N 3.4869°W / 56.3882; -3.4869 (M90 motorway (northern end)))
Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport, Forth Road Bridge, Dunfermline, Kinross, Perth
Road network

The M90 is a motorway in Scotland. It runs from junction 1a of the M9, at the south end of the Forth Road Bridge,[2] to Perth, passing Dunfermline and Kinross on the way. It is the most northerly motorway in the United Kingdom, the northernmost point being a spur into the western suburbs of Perth at Broxden.


The first section of the M90 opened in 1964 to coincide with the opening of the Forth Road Bridge and Masterton junction (junction 2). The next section, Crossgates – Kelty and Cowdenbeath Bypass, opened on 1 December 1969,[3] with the next section, Kinross and Milnathort Bypass, opening in May 1972.

The final two sections were due to begin construction around 1973/74, but due to the oil crisis, were put on hold. The next section from Arlary ( Jct 8 with A91) to Arngask was opened in March 1977, with the final section between Arngask (GlenFarg) and Muirmont opening in August 1980;[1] which connected up with the completed Friarton Bridge and Perth Bypass to Broxden.


M90, North of Kelty at the boundary between Fife and Perth and Kinross

The M90's most substantial engineering feature is the Friarton Bridge in Perth, a tall concrete pillared structure which traverses the River Tay. The bridge carries eastbound traffic from Broxden towards Dundee and along the Firth of Tay. The Queensferry Crossing will open as part of the motorway in 2017.

The road constitutes most of the southerly part of the A90 corridor from Edinburgh, through Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen to Peterhead along Scotland's North Sea coast.

A large part of the northern section of the motorway follows the route of the former main railway line between Perth and Edinburgh via Glenfarg, Kinross and the Forth Bridge, which was closed in 1970 despite this not being recommended by the Beeching report. It is not obvious when first driving along the road but close inspection of the 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey maps of the route illustrates this.[4][5]

Another unusual feature of the M90 is that the Kinross and Milnathort Bypass, the 8-mile (13 km) section of the M90 between Fruix and Arlary, was the first motorway in Britain to be constructed using unreinforced concrete pavements.[6] The south-bound carriageway have since been overlaid by tarmac, whereas the north-bound carriageway remain unchanged, however it is now being overlaid by tarmac.

Near to its northern terminus, the motorway splits into two branches. The construction of this three-way interchange required the removal of about 900,000 cubic metres of material, mostly rock. The motorway bends through more than 90 degrees, on a compound curve partly of 520.8 m and partly of 694.5 m radius. One branch heads in a north-easterly direction, flowing into the A90 at its end, numbered junction 11. (This branch was formerly the M85 motorway, until the A85 was renumbered as A90.) The other branch forms part of the western bypass of Perth, and meets the A9 at its end, numbered junction 12.[7] The gradient is 4.57% uphill and 5.65% downhill on this section. The slip roads forming this branch merge with shared priority to allow HGVs to maintain momentum on the steep upgrade.The Broxden to Muirmont slip road at the centre of the interchange has a radius of 136.4 m, necessitating maximum superelevation of 7%.

The M90 forms part of the Euroroute E15 which runs from Inverness to Algeciras, but is not signposted within the UK.


The M90 lacks hard shoulders for an 8-mile (13 km) section. In this section there are emergency lay-bys at 14-mile (400 m) intervals instead.

The M90 here has another of the tightest corners on the UK motorway network, for which some traffic can be forced to slow down. The corner cuts through the northern side of the Ochil Hills and has a curve radius of 694.5 m (a recommended minimum of 914 m was standard practice at the time of construction). This corner also coincides with one of the steepest sections of the motorway, for which north-bound heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are sign-posted to stay in a low gear and often brake continuously through the turn. South-bound HGVs are normally substantially reduced in speed as they make the incline.

Southern extension[edit]

As part of the Queensferry Crossing scheme, the M90 will be extended across the Firth of Forth over a new cable-stayed bridge, connecting to the northern end of the M9 spur at Scotstoun Interchange. The former M9 spur is now part of M90, in preparation for the completion of the crossing.[8][9]


M90 motorway
Northbound exits Junction Southbound exits
Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling A9
Crianlarich (A85)
Perth A93
J12 Start of motorway
Road continues as A90 to Dundee, Aberdeen and Forfar J11 Perth A85, Inverness A9
Non-motorway traffic
Perth, Crieff A85 Start of motorway
Branches join
Perth, Stirling, Glasgow (A9) J10 Perth, Stirling, Pitlochry (A9)
Bridge of Earn, Aberargie A912 J9 Bridge of Earn, Aberargie A912
Cupar, St Andrews A91 J8 No exit
No exit J7 Stirling A91
Milnathort A911
Kinross, Milnathort A977
Kinross services
J6 Kinross, Crook of Devon A977
Kinross services
Cleish, Crook of Devon B9097 J5 Cleish, Ballingry B9097
Kelty, Ballingry A909 J4 Kelty, Lochgelly A909
Dunfermline A907 J3 Dunfermline A907, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes A92
Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes A92 J2A No exit
Dunfermline, Rosyth A823 (M) J2 Dunfermline, Rosyth A823(M)
Start of motorway J1 Inverkeithing A921
Kincardine, Glasgow A985
Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay A921
Kincardine, Glasgow A985
Non-motorway traffic
Road continues as A90 to Edinburgh, M9, M8 to Glasgow, Edinburgh Airport, Livingston and Carlisle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  2. ^ "FRC Bus Lane Map". Transport Scotland. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/18827/pages/870/page.pdf
  4. ^ MultiMap.com (April 2007). "Map Source". 
  5. ^ RailScot (April 2007). "RailScot". 
  6. ^ "M90 Inverkeithing to Perth and M85 Perth by-pass". The Motorway Archive. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  7. ^ M90 J12 Broxden, sabre-roads.org.uk (retrieved 2013-01-16)
  8. ^ "Scotland gets it first Managed Motorway". 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  9. ^ http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/news/FRC-junction-early-and-under-budget

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata