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Livingston from Fife?

AMcDAMcD Posts: 236
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
Does anyone commute to Livingston from Fife? I've got a route planned for Tuesday next week but don't have a free day to test it out by car.

I'll be coming over the Forth and heading through Kirkliston and then the A89 - I get stumped at the roundabout at the top of Livingston - don't really want to head down the dual carriageway and don't know the minor roads in Livingston well enough and always get lost in the car.

I work very close to St John's Hospital (slightly north of it off Cousland Road). What's the best way to get there from the A89 roundabout? I'm not bothered about traffic as such but don't fancy the dual carriageway - it's bad enough with all the interchanges when you're in a car :D .

Any tips would be very welcome :D .


  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    AMcD wrote:
    Any tips would be very welcome :D .

    Bear in mind that you can use pretty much all of Livingston's paths on a bike- you'll need tough tyres to cope with the broken glass but the routes I've used have been fairly well engineered (ie you don't need to stop every few yards to negotiate a car-infested junction).

    You could try the Harvey Maps "Livingston for Cyclists" map (1:15,000), if you can get hold of one in time. I havn't used it but can vouch for the quality of their products, though you should probably be informed that I live in Doune & know Sue Harvey well(!)

  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707

    Not too familiar with Livingston, but have been commuted into Glasgow for a while now.
    I have enjoyed finding new routed back home through unfamiliar streets. I find that you get to know a new route quickly, much more so on a bike than in a car.

    Looks like plenty of options avoiding the A899, will certainly add a wee bit of distance, but you have fun exploring there. How about round the golf course at Deer park, over the railway bridge on Knightsbridge West Road, onto Knightsbridge East, cut across to Ladywell W Road, down ro roundabout, take left into Alderstone Road, and that should get you close.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • AMcDAMcD Posts: 236
    Can you believe I don't have £4 in the bank to order a map before next week :oops:. But will definately order the Harvey's map on payday - looks like just what I need. I found a booklet at work, the West Lothian Physical Atlas that shows walking routes. One route shows a left turn off the A89 just before Dechmont with a path going under the M8 and then onto the golf course. I think this should then lead me to the railway bridge and Wallace's route.......and hopefully, work.......... think I'll plan on an extra 1/2 hour to get lost :wink: . I must admit, Livingston seems to have loads of intricate paths and have been meaning to explore for a while now.

    Will be putting on my winter tyres tomorrow and can't remember getting a puncture last winter so all should be good on the paths :D . Thanks for your help.
  • Hi,
    Actually do quite a similar journey myself in the summer months. I cycle in from South Queensferry to Livi, but more near the centre than where you are going to. The guys are right though and you have many options in Livingston itself due to the huge amount of cycle paths everywhere. I tend to avoid the A89 way completely as well as the Kirkliston route and instead head the other direction out of Queensferry up a local road passed the westmuir riding centre. From there I carry on to the next small town, Winchburgh and then onto Broxburn, all of this is on roads with little or no traffic at times. From here I cross the A89 and go up to the almondell country park where there is a great cycle path through it along the side of the river, I think its part of the national cycle route. You can then follow the river Almond all the way along out the park and following the sings through the small block of houses you then join on the livingston cycle routes at the rugby ground. You can then keep staying alongside the river way and you will go under the dual carrigeway and be at the road that comes out the next junction down from cousland road I believe. I prefer this way to the A89 just because after a few trips going on the constant uphill on that road every day you soon get bored and tired. The park is a much more fun trip.

    If you do prefer to go the A89 however there is a cycle path a few hundred yards behind the petrol station at the deer park roundabout (it comes round the back of the Scottish and Newcastle building). This path then takes you onto the main cycle route that follows the deans path through Knightride, Deans and Eiliburn to take you to Cousland road. If you have any questions just ask as a few guys in my office go out cycling around Livingston at lunchtimes often so they have routes all over the place for cycling!
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Is there a wide shoulder or a cycle path on the A89 along there? I don't know the road, but I've crossed it at Uphall and it doesn't look that appealing.

    I have been through Kirkliston and Newbridge at weekends, and its okay, but not too enjoyable either.

    Where in Livi are you heading? One option is to start off from Kirkliston and head down the B9080 towards Linlithgow. That's a fast, but reasonable road (used by group rides and commuters). There are various options to cut up, but Upall and up towards the Calders isn't too bad.

    EDIT: Just spotted your destination. The twisty road from Pumpherston would be my choice.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the cycle routes through Livingston. Its okay in places, but in some parts of town its a bit tumbleweed and secluded and not the ideal spot for a puncture.
  • If you hear the banjos playing, ride faster or you'll be squealing like a pig come sundown.
  • <hijack>
    Definition of a Gentleman: a man who knows how to play the banjo but doesn't
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • <hijack>
    Definition of a Gentleman: a man who knows how to play the banjo but doesn't

    I thought it was a chap who washes his hands before going to the WC, rather than after.
  • AMcDAMcD Posts: 236
    Thanks again for more ideas. I think I've made up my mind and have decided to leave the housework tomorrow and go on a recce :lol: . My husband works in Livingston (until next week) so I can get a lift home if exhausted :wink: . That's if I can find his work :wink: .

    I drove through Broxburn and Winchburgh on the way home, but don't fancy the twisty, undulating roads in the morning - at least not for my first go. Have decided to begin with the Kirkliston route until the A89 and then come off as soon as I can and head down towards Almondell Country park. Once the river gets near the new Civic Centre I can find my way to work from there.

    How soon can you turn off the A89 to get to Almondell? Kev mentioned crossing over the A89 in Broxburn; but can you use any of the other roads that go off left from the A89 after Newbridge (there's 3 around the area of Burnside on the map - one that seems to go over the motorway bridge but they all come to the same point)? And is it easy to get to the river once you turn off the A89? Is it signposted from these B roads?

    Always Tyred - there is a cycle path along the whole A89 - don't particularly like using them but this one doesn't have many stops / obstacles. I hadn't realised it was slightly uphill though.

    Oh, and what are the park paths like? Are they cinder or muddy / full of leaves. I will probably use my hybrid as it's probably best suited for the paths.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Good news about the A89!

    I've only seen the paths heading into the park from the roads, but they look a bit canal towpath like to me - perfectly passable on a hybrid, but maybe a bit leaf mulchy and damp/muddy in places I would guess. Let us know!
  • AMcDAMcD Posts: 236
    Yes, I'll report back tomorrow!

    My tourer has the same tyres as my hybrid but somehow I feel safer on my hybrid when going somewhere untested - something to do with the upright sitting position and wider handlebars - oh, and the fact it takes you back to your childhood :D .
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    If you hear the banjos playing, ride faster or you'll be squealing like a pig come sundown.

    He is starting in Fife, and presumably South Fife at that, the Banjo's are normal down there.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • bsc8180bsc8180 Posts: 17

    I do Livi -> Newbridge a few time a week.
    If you are comming into Almondell from the A89/Broxburn side it is all downhill and tarmaced until the bridge over the Almond. This will be quite a climb on your return journey. There it transforms into cinder path with 2 bridges.
    After the second one the path runs by the Almond and the sewage works its a bit hilly with one steep climb.
    After that follow cycle route 75 through Wallace Mill Gardens past the rugby club straight on to the civic centre. Still got a bit of a climb ahead of you though to get up to Cousland Road level.
    All do able on a hybrid - there seems to be quite a few of us commuting that way.

    I would look at the first left off the A89 at the railway viaduct -> Drumshoreland Road into Pumpherston then Harrysmuir Road -> path -> Grange Road -> Cousland Road. Should be much flatter. Maybe not the most direct, but safer.
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