Transport in and around Dundee


Despite its remoteness as one of the most northerly cities in both the UK and Scotland, Dundee has very good road and rail links south to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the major cities of England. It also has a small airport and harbour that is capable of receiving cruising passenger ships as well as goods vessels and fishing trawlers. Of great importance to the roads and rail traffic through Dundee are the two bridges that span the Firth of Tay into the city of Dundee, without which travellers would have to detour around the Firth of Tay, adding some 70km (50 miles) to their journey.

Getting to and from Dundee:

The Tay Road Bridge is one of the longest in Europe at 2.25km (1.4 miles) and carries the A92 across the Firth of Tay on a slight slope towards Dundee from Newport-On-Tay. The A92 runs from Dunfermline, opposite Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth to the south, to Stonehaven which is below Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland. The road bridge was completed in 1966 and is a toll bridge. However, you only have to pay the toll if travelling in the southerly direction, but the toll good value at only 80p (about 1euro) for a car and its passengers. The bridge also has a pedestrian path along it, for which there is no charge. The first railway bridge over the Firth of Tay was opened in 1878, but sadly collapsed a year later in a violent storm with the loss of 75 lives. The replacement bridge, running from Wormit on the south bank to Dundee city, opened in 1887 and is still in use today. Prior to the building of the bridges there were ferry services for both rail and road traffic, both of which were made redundant by their respective bridges.

The nearest motorway to Dundee is the M90, at Perth some 30km (20 miles) away to the west. From Dundee you’d travel west along the A90 to Perth, which then merges into the M90 and heads for Dunfermline and Edinburgh to the south. Alternatively you could join the A9 and head north to Scrabster on the north coast. The 100km (62 mile) trip form Edinburgh to Dundee takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes using the A90 / M90 route via Perth. Whilst it is feasible to legally make the journey by car from Dundee to London in about 7 ½ hours, allowing 10 hours might be more realistic. Using the A92 out of Dundee pick up the M90 south to Edinburgh, then make your way to the M74 and continue south into England, finally use the M6-M1 motorways to London. NB. I’d recommend consulting the Traffic Scotland and UK Highways Agency websites before setting off, to find out what road works are likely to cause delays.

Being a popular tourist destination in its own right, as well as being on the routes to and from some other spectacular holiday destination, Dundee has some excellent railway services. First ScotRail operates many services throughout Scotland, with GNER being the main operator for trains to and from London. The main routes passing through Dundee railway station are west along the Firth of Tay to Perth and Glasgow, north to Aberdeen or south across the Tay Rail Bridge to Edinburgh. Connections are available from Glasgow and Edinburgh to major English cities. However, it is Dundee’s position on the main London to Aberdeen, via Edinburgh, express route that makes it an important railway city. The fastest direct railway journey time from London Kings Cross to Dundee is under 6 hours. Trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh can be made in 1 hour 20 minutes and 1 hour 10 minutes respectively.

Most inter-city coach services in Scotland are operated by Scottish CityLink. By coach Dundee is just under 2 hours from Glasgow and about 1 hour 40 minutes from Edinburgh, including a ‘change’ at Perth. You can travel by coach from London to Dundee, the fastest journey time is the National Express ‘red-eye’ service which leaves London Victoria Coach Station at 22:30 and arrives in Dundee at 09:05 the next morning, at the bargain price of only £17.

Although Dundee has a port capable of accommodating cruise liners it does not currently offer any ferry services to continental Europe. Dundee also has a small airport that offers services to London City, Birmingham and Belfast. The nearest airport catering for flights to other UK and European destinations is Aberdeen, with inter-continental services available from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

Travel in and around Dundee:

Like any city Dundee can get snarled up at peak week-day times. However, generally traffic flows easily through this city, even allowing for the fact that one of its main arterial routes, the A92, arrives in the heart of the city off a bridge. The city has one railway station which, as well as offering services to other large cities, serves commuters and shoppers from the outlying areas. Travel Dundee is part of the National Express group and provides the local bus services for Dundee. The comprehensive Dundee Travel Info website contains details regarding travel in and around the city including: cycle, bus, rail, car and taxi information.