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Glasgow to Inverness

The A82 is one of Scotland’s longest roads, stretching for 175 miles from Glasgow to Inverness through the west of Scotland. It passes several notable Scottish landmarks including Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal. It links up several settlements including Crianlarich, Glencoe, Fort William, Fort Augustus, and Inverness.


The quality of route varies dramatically, with some sections constructed in the 1990s and others that date back to the early 19th century.

A82 Alexandra Bypass (April 2014).

Route History

The first road to be constructed in the corridor of the existing road dates from the early 1700s, with work overseen by General George Wade. This route was superseded by new sections constructed by renowned civil engineer Thomas Telford in the 1800s. Many sections of Telford’s road took a new alignment, most notably along the western banks of Loch Ness.


By the 1920s new roads were required to cater for the increasing popularity of the motorcar. The road, numbered A82 in 1929, was improved through Glencoe, and between Ballachulish and Inverness, was completely rebuilt. Many of these sections are still in use today.

The postwar era brought further improvements to the A82, including the completion of the dual carriageway from Glasgow to Balloch and the construction of Ballachulish Bridge. The 30-mile section from Balloch to Tarbet was reconstructed in the 1980s and a further improvement at Pulpit Rock was completed in 2015. In Inverness the A82 was diverted away from the City Centre on a new relief road in 1986.

A82 Loch Lomond Improvement (1980s).
A82 Glencoe (2022).

Route Construction Summary


Arburn to Luss

Pulpit Rock Improvement

Crianlarich Bypass

Ballachulish Bridge

Ballachulish to Inverness Reconstruction

Fort Augustus River Bridge

Inverness Inner Relief Road - Stage 1

Opening Date

19th September 1991

May 2015

14th December 2014

23rd December 1975

27th September 1934

12th April 1935

23rd December 1986

Route Overview

The A82 begins at St. George's Cross in Glasgow heading westwards as the four lane Great Western Road. It becomes dual carriageway at Garnavel Hospital, the start of a boulevard type road constructed in the late 1920s. The route becomes a trunk road at the A898 Dalnottar Interchange, before bisecting Dumbarton. After bypassing Alexandria, the dual carriageway ends, proceeding as single carriageway for the next hundred miles.

The route as far as Tarbet has been upgraded to a modern standards, but between Tarbert and Ardlui, is unimproved and congested during busy periods. The A82 runs through Glen Falloch and bypasses Crianlarich before entering Tyndrum. For the next 30 miles the road runs across the desolate Rannoch Moor with long straights and little habitation. The route bypasses Kinlochleven on Ballachulish Bridge and follows the route of the Great Glen for the next 60 miles to Inverness.

The A82 crosses the Caledonian Canal on three swing bridges at Laggan, Aberchalder & Fort Augustus and follows Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness. Arriving in Inverness, the route becomes dual carriageway crossing the River Ness before terminating at the A9 Longman Roundabout.

This article was first published in October 2023.

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