From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||95.8 miles (154.2 km)|
|Meets:||A74(M), A780, A709, A701, A76, A780, A712, A745, A713, A711, A762, A755, A712, A714, A747, A751, A77|
|Dumfries • Stranraer|
|Route outline (key)|
The A75 is the main through route for traffic from North England to Northern Ireland, more specifically the ferry terminal from Cairnryan to Belfast and Larne. Although it is an important trunk route (it is also a Euroroute, the E18), and has been subject to a number of upgrades over the years, it frustratingly remains mostly single carriageway (although wide enough to allow overtaking in places), and crawler lanes are in short supply. Given the volume of HGVs bound to and from the ferry, it is possible for the car driver to get held up. Also, it's not as straight as it looks! Often you can see the road clearly ahead of you, and it winds all over the place for no apparent reason! Nevertheless, it has been considered by some to be one of the most scenic trunk routes in the south of Scotland.
Gretna - Stranraer
The road starts just north of the England/Scotland border at what is now junction 22 of the A74(M). Initially, it runs under motorway restrictions up until the junction with the B7076 (the old A74) at Gretna. It then forms a short dual-carriageway northern bypass for the village, which runs parallel to the railway line, before becoming a single-carriageway road bypassing Eastriggs and the town of Annan.
The next section runs almost straight, past Kelhead Moss Plantation to Carrutherstown. Another short dual carriageway bypasses Collin, then the road becomes a single-carriageway bypass for Dumfries (the original route has been renumbered A780). There are junctions with the A701 and A709, which provide an alternative, and more direct route back to the A74(M) that can be an overall faster journey for lighter traffic coming the other way than staying on the A75.
After these junctions, the A75 bridges the river Nith no less than three times; then, after the A76 roundabout at Lincluden, it passes through a cutting to rejoin its original route. Here it runs parallel to an unclassified road known as the "Old Military Road" (this was never the A75 - but the winding road running parallel as far as the next roundabout was), with a roundabout close to Lochfoot before the A712 junction at Crocketford or Nine Mile Bar.
From here it runs along Auchenreoch Loch to Springholm, then forming a single-carriageway bypass for Castle Douglas. The junction with the A713 is an extremely simple multi-grade one - the two roads are joined by a single two-way slip road! (Cf. the A303/A350 junction in Wiltshire.) It crosses the Dee at the appropriately-named Bridge of Dee, then the A711 to Kirkcudbright leaves from the left. The A762 crosses with a short multiplex section, then there's a small bypass for Twynholm. At this point the "Old Military Road" reappears on the right-hand side, heading towards Gatehouse of Fleet. The A75 itself bypasses Gatehouse of Fleet, on a route built on reclaimed land from the sea, meeting the A755 on the left before crossing the Water of Fleet.
The A75 here runs right along the coast, past Cardoness Wood and through the village of Carsluith before bypassing Creetown. After a fairly straight section to Palnure the A712 joins from the right, and the road goes on to bypass Newton Stewart, with a roundabout junction with the A714 before running along Merton Hall Moss. (Here the "Old Military Road" has apparently been reduced to the status of a footpath running alongside.) It bridges Taff Water, then bypasses Glenluce, with the A747 meeting on the left, and goes over the Water of Luce. At this point the railway line from Glasgow comes overhead and turns to run parallel to the A75 for the rest of its course. The section between Cairntop and Barlae was made into dual carriageway from October 2010. This is a straight section via Dunragit and Castle Kennedy, with the A751 leaving on the right, taking all the traffic to Cairnryan (and Northern Ireland) with it. Finally the road heads into Stranraer itself, ending on the A77 near the harbour.
The A75 from Gretna to Annan, including bypasses, is an offline upgrade from the original route, which is now the B721. Most of the rest of the A75 still runs on its original route, with the exception of a few towns which are obviously bypassed. The ex-A75 through Dumfries, for example, is now the A780.