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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Edinburgh (NT249729)
To:  St John's Town of Dalry (NX619811)
Distance:  83 miles (133.6 km)
Meets:  A700, B701, A720, A703, A766, B7059, A721, A72, B7016, B7055, A73, M74, A74(M), B7078, B797, B7076, B7040, A76, B732, B731, B729, B7075, B7000, A713,
Former Number(s):  A72, A74, B730, B729
Highway Authorities




Route outline (key)
A702 Edinburgh – Lothianburn
A702 Lothianburn – Abington
A702 Abington – Carronbridge
(A76) Carronbridge – Thornhill
A702 Thornhill – St John's Town of Dalry

The A702 hasn't seen any substantial improvements since it was first classified in 1922, but it has had lots of fairly minor changes along its route, not least the extension from Thornhill to St Johns Town of Dalry in the early 1930s.

Edinburgh - Abington

For most of it's life, the A702 started on the A700 at Tollcross near Edinburgh city centre. However, in recent years it has been extended north along the former A700 to the western end of Princes Street. The street pattern as the route winds its way out of the city, however, hasn't changed in over a century. At Lothianburn Junction, the old line of the route can be seen running past the houses on the south side of the bypass, but the route soon resumes the old line. The next deviation from the old road is past the Flotterstone Inn and over the Glencorse Burn, where the road has been moved east, leaving most of the old loop for parking for the Inn. Continuing south, there used to be a long layby past the House o'Muir, but this has been closed up at the southern end with the construction of the new roundabout in c2017, leaving the section of old road primarily as a property access.

There are no further notable changes before West Linton, however. Many of the laybys will have been formed from minor realignments, and most of the junctions have been improved with better sight lines, but apart from some widening, the actual line of the road is essentially unchanged. The only change at West Linton is the addition of the roundabout, but further south at Haughhead near Dolphinton two loops of the old road survive, the realignment perhaps partly related to the closure of the railway line. The old line can be traced behind the bus stop, crossing the side road and then disappearing into a field. It resumes as a layby on the far side of the A702 a little further south. There is then another realigned section just before the A721 junction, where the old road survives lying alongside the new line, but gated off. It is not clear why this section was rebuilt, but it appears to be a fairly recent improvement.

Continuing south through Biggar, there are again very few notable improvements, a couple of bends have been reprofiled, as can be seen from deviating hedgerows, and junctions widened. The re-alignment at the A72 Symington Junction (Causeway End) south of Biggar was completed in 1970. However, the new bridge over the Clyde (completed in 1974), replacing the old Clyde's Bridge has seen a longer section of realignment, stretching back to the railway, where the old bridge stood a little to the south with a much sharper bend over it. In 1922, the A702 ran right down to the A74 at Abington. However, in 1934, the A73 was extended over the original A720 to meet the A702, and then continued as a useless multiplex to the A74. This was reverted with the opening of the motorway in the 1990s.

Abington - St Johns town of Dalry

The multiplex between the A702 and A74 was one of the longest in the original road numbering scheme, but since the motorway opened, it has been solely the A702. Despite a lot of this section having been dualled in the 1960s and 70s, and subsequently reverted to single carriageway, there is very little evidence of the original road line outwith the current road boundary. The exception is through Crawford, where the old road can be seen forking left past the farm long before reaching the first roundabout. The route then originally follows Carlisle Road through the village, while the second carriageway of the current bypass line is also easy to identify, as a wide grassy verge alongside the current road, and there is even a surviving footbridge spanning the full width. The A702 then follows the line of the original multiplex down to the motorway junction. Here, the routes continued a short distance south on what it now the B7076 to a junction where the A74 turned left across the Clyde. Careful examination of the river banks might reveal some evidence of the old crossing point. The A702, meanwhile, swept right passing under the modern motorway to pick up the current route beyond.

As the A702 climbs through the hills, the wiggly nature of the road suggests it has seen little change over the centuries. However, careful examination of satellite imagery does show a number of short sections that could be the old road line alongside the new, and there is also the looped layby near Overfingland farm. Some of these lines can be seen on the ground, but how many of them are genuinely the old line of the A702, rather than newer quadbike tracks, or even something far older, is uncertain. Old mapping is not that helpful, as it is difficult to tell whether the road has moved or not due to the proximity of the two lines. There are a couple more looped laybys formed from the old road at the watershed just above the Dalveen Pass. A couple of miles below the pass, at Muircleuch, another loop of old road survives at the farm entrance, and possible the farm driveway also incorporates some of the old road line.

As the route drops down to Carronbridge, there are two more laybys identifying the original road line, and a few places where the hedgeline deviates away from the roadside, perhaps suggesting some minor realignments, but the road essentially remains on the original alignment. Carronbridge was, of course, the original terminus of the A702, the extension occurring before 1932. Again, however, there are very few places where substantial changes seem to have occurred. a couple of small loops can be found at Stepends just before Penpont, and another at Shancastle near the B729 junction. Across the final watershed, a series of loops can be found in the forest above Corriedoo, two of them still used as laybys. These, however, appear to be the last improvements to the route.

Roman Road

As has already been noted, a lot of the route of the A702 owes its origins to the Romans, who built a road heading southwest from Edinburgh. This is first identified in the long straight at Lawhead above Penicuik, before climbing onto the hillside somewhere beyond Silverburn. The minor road at Nine Mile Burn is roughly on the Roman line, which then becomes the A702 again through Carlops. South of the village, it climbs back onto the hillside, completely bypassing West Linton, although much of the line remains in use as estates roads and farm tracks. The A702 picks up the Roman line again at Haughhead, and follows it through Dolphinton and on towards the A721 junction. It can then be traced here and there in the forest to the south, before becoming clearer as it climbs over the hill at Brownsbank Farm. The A702 then seems to follow the Roman route all the way through Biggar.

After the junction with the A72, the Roman Road seems to run through fields to the west of the A702, before taking a straighter line across the Culter Water at Coulter. The A702 then follows it again down to Lamington, where the Roman line is now the driveway for Lamington House. The A702 then leaves the Roman line again to cross the Clyde, the Roman Road staying east of the railway and passing through Littlegill to pick up the minor road at Cold Chapel. The OS then suggest that the Roman Road took to the hills and climbed around the back of Raggengill Hill to reach Crawford, albeit staying on the east side of the Clyde as far as Elvanfoot. The exact crossing point of the river is long lost, but the Roman line has then been traced between the river and railway on the west bank, before crossing the A702 just south of the church and running along the hillside.

Between Glencohar and Overfingland, the A702 appears to criss cross the straighter Roman line several times, perhaps accounting for some of the earthworks identifiable on satellite imagery. The route then turns south, and climbs through the higher pass between Well Hill and Durisdeer Hill to reach Durisdeer, following the minor road from the village back down to the A702. Precise tracking of the Roman Road beyond this becomes difficult due to over a thousand years of Agricultural changes to the landscape, but it is though to follow the A702 to Carronbridge, and then turn south with the A76.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Edinburgh - Dolphinton - Biggar - Abington - Carronbridge
An official document from 16/5/1934 details the following changes:
The section of this route from the junction with Route A720 at Duneatonfoot Lanarkshire south westward to the junction with Route A74 at Abington to be renumbered as A73.

Other nearby roads
NCN1 • NCN75 • NCN76 • A1 • A1/Sandbox • A7 • A8 • A9 • A68 • A70 • A71 • A89 • A90 • A199 • A700 • A701 • A702 • A703 • A720 • A772 • A900 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A982 (Edinburgh) • A1140 • A6095 • A6096 (Edinburgh) • A6106 • A7a • B700 • B701 • B900 • B901 • B924 • B1350 • B6415 • B7030 • B9080 • B9085 • Borders Historic Route • E15 • E16 • E31 (via Newcastle) • E32 (Old System) • E100 • Edinburgh - Glasgow New Road • EuroVelo 12 • Fife Coastal Tourist Route • Forth Valley Tourist Route • M8 • M9 • M90 • NCN754 • Radical Road • T1 (Britain) • T26 (Britain) • T27 (Britain) • T86 (Britain) • T89 (Britain) • West Approach Road • ZC1 (Edinburgh) • ZC11 (Edinburgh) • ZC12 (Edinburgh) • ZC13 (Edinburgh) • ZC14 (Edinburgh) • ZC15 (Edinburgh) • ZC16 (Edinburgh) • ZC17 (Edinburgh) • ZC18 (Edinburgh) • ZC19 (Edinburgh) • ZC2 (Edinburgh) • ZC20 (Edinburgh) • ZC21 (Edinburgh) • ZC22 (Edinburgh) • ZC23 (Edinburgh) • ZC24 (Edinburgh) • ZC25 (Edinburgh) • ZC26 (Edinburgh) • ZC27 (Edinburgh) • ZC28 (Edinburgh) • ZC29 (Edinburgh) • ZC3 (Edinburgh) • ZC30 (Edinburgh) • ZC31 (Edinburgh) • ZC32 (Edinburgh) • ZC33 (Edinburgh) • ZC4 (Edinburgh) • ZC43 (Edinburgh) • ZC45 (Edinburgh) • ZC5 (Edinburgh) • ZC6 (Edinburgh)
New Galloway
A700 • A701 • A702 • A703 • A704 • A705 • A706 • A707 • A708 • A709 • A710 • A711 • A712 • A713 • A714 • A715 • A716 • A717 • A718 • A719
A720 • A721 • A722 • A723 • A724 • A725 • A726 • A727 • A728 • A729 • A730 • A731 • A732 • A733 • A734 • A735 • A736 • A737 • A738 • A739
A740 • A741 • A742 • A743 • A744 • A745 • A746 • A747 • A748 • A749 • A750 • A751 • A752 • A753 • A754 • A755 • A756 • A757 • A758 • A759
A760 • A761 • A762 • A763 • A764 • A765 • A766 • A767 • A768 • A769 • A770 • A771 • A772 • A773 • A774 • A775 • A776 • A777 • A778 • A779
A780 • A781 • A782 • A783 • A784 • A785 • A786 • A787 • A788 • A789 • A790 • A791 • A792 • A793 • A794 • A795 • A796 • A797 • A798 • A799
Defunct Itineraries: A720 • A727 • A739 • A740 • A752 • A754

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