A74(M) and M74 motorways: Wikis


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M74 motorway
UK motorway M74.PNG

Road of the United Kingdom

Length 35 miles (56.3 km)
Direction Northwest - Southeast
Start Tollcross, Glasgow
55°50′07″N 4°10′16″W / 55.8354°N 4.1710°W / 55.8354; -4.1710 (M74 motorway (northern end))
Primary destinations none
End Abington
55°30′24″N 3°41′51″W / 55.5067°N 3.6974°W / 55.5067; -3.6974 (M74 motorway (southern end))
Construction dates 1966 - 1991/Under construction
Motorways joined Junction 4.svg UK-Motorway-M73.svg
J4 → M73 motorway
Junction 13.svg UK-Motorway-A74 (M).svg
J13 → A74(M) motorway
A74(M) motorway
UK motorway A74(M).PNG

Road of the United Kingdom

Length 45 miles (72.4 km)
Direction Northwest - Southeast
Start Abington
(See M74 above.)
Primary destinations Edinburgh
End Gretna
54°59′51″N 3°03′22″W / 54.9975°N 3.0562°W / 54.9975; -3.0562 (A74(M) motorway (southern end))
Construction dates 1991 - 2008 (Complete)
Motorways joined Junction 13.svg UK-Motorway-M74.svg
J13 → M74 motorway
Junction 22.svg UK-Motorway-M6.svg
J22 → M6 motorway
M74 near Larkhall.

The A74(M) and M74 motorways form a major motorway in Scotland, running from Tollcross on the edge 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.



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 connecting to the M6 motorway in an end on connection.

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.


An £174m extension of the M6 from Carlisle to the Scottish border at Gretna where it links with the existing A74(M)[1] was opened on 5 December 2008.[2]

Current developments


M74 Northern Extension

Construction work on the £444 million six lane M74 Northern Extension (M74 Completion) to extend the M74 northwards by 5 miles (8.0 km) through the south-eastern Glasgow to meet the M8 started in 2008 with completion expected in 2011. There is a £12million allowance for grouting of old mine workings.[3]

The motorway will pass through the suburbs of Dalmarnock, Polmadie, Rutherglen, Govanhill and parts of the Gorbals near the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow on an elevated embankment with junctions at Kingston, Polmadie Road, Glasgow Road in Cambuslang and at Fullarton Road.

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. The extension will involve the demolition of the Rosebery Park football ground.[4]

The scheme was at the centre of a road protest from local campaigners and environmentalists; their appeal against the road orders collapsed in June 2006. Alex Salmond officially launched the construction work on 28 May 2008. By 4 July 2009, the west section's piling was largely complete, and preparatory work was finished for both M8/M74 link bridges.[5]

East End Regeneration Route

Road sign on the A702 showing the change in designation.

Construction of the 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 began in 2008 with completion expected in 2011.[6][7] It will make use of existing stretches of road and filler sections on currently derelict land.

Numbering confusion

Although the motorway is usually referred to in public as the M74 motorway, this is not the actual 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 was a long-standing plan, once the southern extension of the road was complete, to rename the motorway as part of the M6, creating a 350-mile (560 km) 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, which 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 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.[8]

Following the building of the original section of the M74 (Maryville to Draffan), the motorway was numbered south-to-north. When the M74 was extended south of Draffan in the late 1980s, it was renumbered north-to-south. Raith remained as J5, while Maryville became J4, allowing for later extension towards Glasgow. Since the M74 is now being extended to meet the M8 south of the Kingston Bridge, it will require renumbering again. Whether this will be a renumbering of the M74/A74(M) or as an extension of the M6 has not been made public knowledge.


M74 Motorway
Northbound exits Junction Southbound exits
(Tollcross, Glasgow City Centre, Cambuslang, Rutherglen)
J1 Start of motorway
Shettleston, Cambuslang A763 J2 No access
No access J3 Tannochside, Uddingston A721
Stirling, Kincardine Bridge M73
Uddingston, Mount Vernon A721
J4 Stirling, Kincardine Bridge, Edinburgh M73
Bothwell services
Southbound only
Bellshill, Coatbridge, East Kilbride, Edinburgh A725 J5 Bellshill, Coatbridge, East Kilbride, Edinburgh A725
Hamilton services
Northbound only
Hamilton, Motherwell A723 J6 Motherwell, Hamilton A723
No access J7 Lanark, Larkhall A72
Kilmarnock, Edinburgh A71
Larkhall B7078
J8 Kilmarnock, Edinburgh A71
No access J9 Kirkmuirhill, Blackwood, Lesmahagow, Coalburn B7078
Lesmahagow, Kirkmuirhill, Blackwood B7078 J10 No Access
No access J11 Edinburgh, Ayr B7078 (A70)
Happendon (Cairn Lodge) Services
Edinburgh, Ayr A70
Happendon (Cairn Lodge) Services
J12 No access
Road continues as M74 J13 Edinburgh A702
Lanark A73
Abington services
A74(M) motorway
Northbound exits Junction Southbound exits
Edinburgh A702
Lanark A73
Abington services
J13 Road continues as A74(M)
Crawford, Thornhill A702 J14 Crawford, Thornhill A702
Moffat, Dumfries A701 J15 Moffat, Selkirk A701
Johnstonebridge B7076
Annandale Water Services
J16 Johnstonebridge B7076
Annandale Water Services
Lockerbie B7076 J17 Lockerbie, Dumfries B7076
Lockerbie, Dumfries B723 J18 No access
Ecclefechan B7076 J19 Ecclefechan B7076
Eaglesfield, Annan B722 J20 Eaglesfield, Annan, Kirtlebridge B722
Kirtlebridge, Kirkpatrick Fleming B7076
Canonbie B6357
J21 Canonbie B6357
Kirtlebridge, Kirkpatrick Fleming B7076
Gretna Green Services
Dumfries, Stranraer, Gretna A75 J22 Longtown (A6071)
Gretna, Gretna Green B7076

A74(M) now continues as M6 to Carlisle, Penrith and THE SOUTH

See also


  1. ^ "M6 Carlisle to Guards Mill Extension". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/5069.aspx. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  2. ^ "M6 North Extension, United Kingdom". Road Traffic Technology. http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com/projects/northextension/. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  3. ^ "M74 Completion - The Project". Transport Scotland. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/projects/m74-completion/the-project. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  4. ^ Oatlands Regeneration Masterplan
  5. ^ http://www.cbrd.co.uk/futures/scheme.php?id=25
  6. ^ "East End Regeneration Route". Glasgow City Council. http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Environment/Rivers/RiverClyde/Projects/ClydeGateway/EastEndRegen/. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  7. ^ "M74 extension: Will the gap ever be filled?". The Herald. 2007-12-10. http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/focus/display.var.1891881.0.m74_extension_will_the_gap_ever_be_filled.php. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  8. ^ "Scottish Parliament Written Answers". Scottish Parliament. 1999-07-13. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/pqa/wa-99/wa0713.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

External links

Official sites on the upgrades

Other sites

Coordinates: 55°28′00″N 3°39′29″W / 55.4666°N 3.658°W / 55.4666; -3.658 (A74(M) and M74 motorways)


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