- A74 road
Major junctions South end: Glasgow (M74, Junction 4) M74 motorway North end: Glasgow (Norfolk Street) Road network
The A74 was a major trunk road in the United Kingdom, linking Glasgow in Scotland to Carlisle in the North West of England. The road has been largely replaced by the A74(M) and M74 motorways and now only one short stub remains.
From the 1960s onward, the A74 underwent a process of gradual conversion to motorway standard. The original section of the M74 in the mid-1960s ran from Draffen, (Blackwood) in South Lanarkshire to Hamilton, eventually being extended nortwards, in 2 stages to initially to Bothwell Bridge, and then Uddingston. Originally the M74 junctions were numbered like the other British motorways away from London, but the M74 junctions were re-numbered in 1985 in a southwards direction, to allow junctions of the first extension from its original southern termination at Draffen, southwards to Parkhead 'AA' box to be numbered. On re-numbering of the M74 in 1985 the most Northern junction (at that time) was not given the number 1 to enable numbering to be in place for the Northern extension from Uddingston into Glasgow. As of 2008,the M74 motorway now extends southwards to the northern terminus of the M6,at the Scottish Border, so that the two are now contiguous, and was extended northwards in the mid-1990s as far as the Glasgow suburb of Tollcross. The parallel road which was the A74 has been downgraded in two sections as the B7076 and B7078.
The small remnant of the original A74 remains in the south eastern suburbs of Glasgow, between the A721 at Uddingston and the city centre. The construction of the M74 extension into the city centre by 2010 is likely to result in a downgrading of this section.
The Cumberland Gap was the six miles (10 km) of A74 between the northern terminus of the M6 at Carlisle, and the south end of the A74(M) at the Scottish border. It existed as an isolated stub from 1992 until 2008, when the M6 was extended northwards.
When the M6 was being built, the A74 already existed as a dual carriageway between Carlisle and Glasgow. It was decided therefore that the M6 would terminate on the A74, six miles (10 km) short of the Scottish border. When the time came to build the A74(M) Scotland had gained independence over road building matters, and thus could only build the road up to the border with England. An offer from the Scottish Executive to build the road to meet the M6 was not accepted by the English Highways Agency.. This left a remnant of the old A74 as a six mile (10 km) stretch of two-lane dual carriageway between two long, three-lane motorways.
After years of political battles between the English Highways Agency and the Scottish Executive, followed by a lengthy design and public enquiry phase, approval to build a 6-mile (9.7 km) long extension to the M6 was granted in March 2006, and construction work began on 25 July 2006. The new stretch of road was officially opened on 5 December 2008, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first motorway in the UK, the M6.
- ^ A74: Carlisle - Glasgow SABRE
- ^ M74 Completion - Road Safety Transport Scotland
- ^ M6. Carlisle By-pass & Penrith to Carlisle (J41 to J44) The Motorway Archive
- ^ Extending the motorway • Carlisle to Guards Mill Highways Agency
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7766327.stm
A roads in Zone 7 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme
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