M74 motorway

From Academic Kids

The M74 is a major road in Scotland. The motorway runs from Glasgow 53 km (33 miles) south east, where it is arbitrarily renamed the A74(M). Collectively, the M74, A74(M) and A74 form the main north-south route between Scotland and North West England.

At present the M74 begins in the Glasgow suburb of Tollcross, and then heads south towards the Clyde Valley towns of Hamilton, Motherwell and Lanark. At Abington in the heart of the Leadhills area, the road becomes the A74(M) then passes Moffat and Lockerbie, and then continues to Gretna, on the English border. The road then reverts to the A74 (non-motorway) for 10 km (6 miles) until Carlisle, where it becomes the M6.

Alongside the motorway are the B-graded roads, the B7076 and B7078. These are in fact stretches of the original A74 which were kept for non-motorway traffic and to serve local towns and villages.

At the southern end, the remaining section of the A74 between the English border and the beginning of the M6 at Carlisle will be upgraded to motorway standard. This has been a subject of much political wrangling, as the Scottish Executive feel that it is not their responsibility as the stretch of road is in England, while the Department of Transport argue that because most of the A74/M74 is in Scotland, it is therefore a Scottish problem. Despite all this - the new section of road is expected to be completed in 2007.

Although not confirmed by the Scottish Executive, the long standing plan has been to rename the motorway M6 once the various upgrades are completed. Many of the road signs in the southern stretches were designed with removeable "A74(M)" plates which have "M6" underneath.

M74 Northern Extension

As at 2005, there are two extension schemes planned for the M74. At its northern end, it will be extended for some 8 km (5 miles). This new section of road will be elevated up to 100 feet and cut through the suburbs of Dalmarnock, Polmadie, Rutherglen and parts of the Gorbals, eventually joining with the M8 south of the Kingston Bridge, therefore bypassing the notorious Central Glasgow section of the M8.

A Public Local Inquiry by Richard Hickman CBE into this scheme ran from 1 December, 2003 to 3 March, 2004 and delivered during July, 2004 but it wasn't released until 9 months later, just before the Easter bank holiday. On March 28, 2005, Transport Secretary Nicol Stephen announced that the Executive intended to build the road despite the report concluding that the road should not be built.

The reasons given for rejecting the scheme were that serious adverse consequences to the local community outweighed the claimed benefits. Namely: the claimed increases in jobs would not materialise, the increase in air pollution at points along the route, the traffic reduction would would be counteracted by increased car use.

Local residents have opposed the scheme since its inception, which was planned as early as the 1960s at the same time as the M8 which forms two sides of Glasgow's abandoned Inner Ring Road project - the M74 extension was intended to form the southern flank of this, although the original "ski-ramp" at the end of the Kingston Bridge provided for the new road will not be used.

See also

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