A74(M) and M74 motorways

A74(M) and M74 motorways

UK motorway routebox
motorway= M74
length-mi= 35
length-km= 56
direction= Northwest - Southeast
start= Glasgow
destinations= East Kilbride
end= Abington
opening-date= 1966
completion-date= 1991/"Under construction"
junctions= 4 -
A74(M) motorway
euroroute= European route number small sign|05
UK motorway routebox
motorway= A74(M)
length-mi= 45
length-km= 72
direction= Northwest - Southeast
start= Abington
destinations= Dumfries
end= Gretna
opening-date= 1991
completion-date= 1999
junctions= 13 -
M74 motorway
euroroute= European route number small sign|05
The A74(M) and M74 motorways are two major motorways in Scotland, running continuously from the southern outskirts of Glasgow to the English border at Gretna. In conjunction with the M6 motorway, it forms one of the two major cross-border routes between Scotland and England. It is part of the unsigned international E-road network E05. Although the entire route is usually referred to as the M74, more than half of its length is officially designated as the A74(M); see Numbering confusion below.

Present route

The M74 begins at a roundabout in the Glasgow suburb of Tollcross. It runs in a roughly south-easterly direction past the Clyde Valley towns of Bothwell, Hamilton and Motherwell before meeting the cross-country A71 at Larkhall. It passes west of Lanark and beyond Abington, Moffat and Lockerbie, before terminating at the border near Gretna after around 80 miles, six miles short of the connection to the M6 motorway - this short section remains part of the A74 road. By the end of 2008 there will be an end on connection with the M6 which is being extended north through the 'Cumberland Gap' thus finally completing a through motorway route from Glasgow to London.

The M74 (from Junction 4 southwards) and A74(M) are part of the E05 Euroroute which runs from Greenock to Algeciras. North from Junction 4, the E05 takes a short stretch of the M73 connecting to the M8, then proceeds westwards through Glasgow to Greenock; and southwards continues on the M6 through England.

Improvements underway

M6 Carlisle to Guards Mill Extension

There had been plans to complete the motorway link from the M74 to the beginning of the M6 at Carlisle (known as the "Cumberland Gap") for some time. However the project was delayed due to a number of arguments: the Scottish Government and the English Highways Agency have attempted to trade away responsibility for building the road - a largely Scottish route in the north of England - and a long-standing agreement for the Executive to build it expired only recently. The Highways Agency has finally agreed to build the road, and it is expected to open towards the end of 2008. Construction began on 25 July 2006. [ [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/documents/M6_Extension_Info_Leaflet_Nov_06_PFV.pdf Extending the motorway • Carlisle to Guards Mill] Highways Agency]

M74 Extension

The M74 Extension, also known as 'M74 Completion' and 'M74 Northern Extension' will extend the M74 northwards by 5 miles through the south-eastern suburbs of Dalmarnock, Polmadie, Rutherglen, Govanhill and parts of the Gorbals to meet the M8 near the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow on an elevated embankment. There will be junctions at Kingston, Polmadie Road, Glasgow Road in Cambuslang and at Fullarton Road. The scheme was at the centre of a road protest from local campaigners and environmentalists. Their efforts were futile however, with their appeal against the road orders collapsing at Edinburgh's Court of Session in June 2006. The city centre section of this motorway would perform a similar role to the never-built southern flank of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road planned in the 1960s, and first set out as a scheme in the Bruce Report of the 1940s, but only half-completed.

Construction of the extension began on 29 May 2008, with a completion date of August 2011. The project contract was signed on a fixed price of £444 million and a £12million allowance for grouting of old mine workings.

Proposed improvements

East End Regeneration Route

Complementing the extension is the city council's proposed East End Regeneration Route which will connect the M74 Northern Extensions with the M8 motorway at the Provan Gas Works interchange with the M80 motorway. The new road will make use of existing stretches of road with filler sections on currently derelict land. The go ahead for the new motorway was given on the 14 February 2008 by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers with construction beginning in May 2008 Completion is expected sometime in 2011. [cite web|url=http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Environment/Rivers/RiverClyde/Projects/ClydeGateway/EastEndRegen/
title=East End Regeneration Route|publisher=Glasgow City Council|accessdate=2008-01-21
] [cite web|url=http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/focus/display.var.1891881.0.m74_extension_will_the_gap_ever_be_filled.php|title=M74 extension: Will the gap ever be filled?|publisher=The Herald|date=2007-12-10|accessdate=2008-01-21]

Numbering confusion

Although the motorway is usually referred to in public as the M74 motorway, this is not the "de jure" nor the "de facto" situation. South of Abington, the road is officially the A74(M) motorway and this is noted on each sign in this southern section of the road (save for one erroneous "M74" sign at Gretna Green services). However, as the motorway is one continuous route and has a continuous junction numbering system, its entirety is usually referred to as M74. Typically, upgraded A-road designations like A74(M) are retained for short bypasses of existing road, whereas the M74/A74(M) is one continuous intercity route.

There is a long-standing plan, once the southern extension of the road is complete, to rename the motorway as part of the M6, creating a 350-mile motorway from Rugby to Glasgow. When the A74(M) was constructed in the 1990s, many of the signs were given patches with the A74(M) number on - these patches can be peeled away to reveal "M6" underneath. One such sign can be seen at the VOSA checkpoint just past the Crawford/Thornhill on-slip states that it is the "M6 South" instead of the "A74 (M)" South. However, when the Scottish Executive was established in 1999, taking over for responsibility for roads in Scotland, Sarah Boyack said that "We have no current plans to rename or redesignate the M74 or A74(M) motorways between Glasgow and the border as the M6". The current Scottish Government have not commented further on the matter.cite web|url=http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/pqa/wa-99/wa0713.htm|title=Scottish Parliament Written Answers|publisher=Scottish Parliament|date=1999-07-13|accessdate=2007-12-01]


ee also

* List of motorways in the United Kingdom


External links

Official sites on the upgrades

* [http://www.m74completion.com/ Northern extension]
* [http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/5069.aspx/ Southern extension]
* [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/transport/m74r-00.asp/ Public Inquiry findings]

Other sites

* [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/motorway/m74/ CBRD Motorway Database - M74]
* [http://www.jam74.org/ JAM74: Joint Action against the M74]
* [http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/about/m74_appeal_intro.html/ Friends of the Earth: Stop Motorway Madness]
* [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m74glascarl.htm The Motorway Archive - M74/A74(M)]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7244627.stm]

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