|Location Map ( geo)
|8.3 miles (13.4 km)
|A749, M74, B768, B762, B759, A763, B758, A725, B7012, A72, B755, B7071, A723
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
The route commences on the A749 at Farme Cross, a five arm traffic-light-controlled junction in the Rutherglen district of Glasgow. It heads south east as Cambuslang Road, past a short row of shops below tenements, with more flats and houses opposite. The Clyde Industrial Estate then follows before the route passes under the M74 at J2 and then the West Coast Main Line (WCML) immediately after. More industrial units follow as the route enters the Richmond Park district of Rutherglen. It then meets the B768 at a traffic-light-controlled triangular partial roundabout junction, Gallowflat Roundabout, beyond which it becomes a dual carriageway for a short stretch through the Eastfield district, past another traffic-light-controlled junction with Boggleshole Road. Despite being unclassified, this is another main connection to and from the M74, serving a large industrial area along the way.
Continuing south-east, back as a single carriageway, the road comes alongside the railway and then meets the B762 at a signalised T junction beyond which it changes name to Glasgow Road. Before long, a central reservation appears in this wide road, and the route used to be a good dual carriageway. However, over the last twenty years, the appearance of bus lanes, parking bays, cycle lanes and turning lanes for junctions has reduced it to a D1 slalom, and as it passes a row of shops, it is squeezed back to S2, with a parallel service road and parking in front of the shops. Before this, it recrosses the WCML and meets the A763 at another signalised T junction close to Cambuslang station. At the further end of Main Street, more traffic-lights mark the start of the B759 on the right and then Clydeford Road, the old line of the A763 on the left. Now following Hamilton Road, the route drops back to a single carriageway at the next set of lights, after which it crosses the railway a third time.
There are a few older houses here, but most of the properties are modern houses set back from the roadside or blocks of flats. The central reservation briefly returns for a short distance as the road passes under one of the suburban railways, and again past a parade of shops as it passes through the Cairns and Halfway districts of Cambuslang. This is typical Glasgow suburbia with a mixture of modern housing set back behind greens and service roads, while the older buildings and business premises are predominantly on the roadside. Just beyond a roundabout giving access to the vast modern Hallside housing estate to the north, built on what was once industrial land, the road finds the edge of the urban area and emerges into the fields. A string of houses stand along the roadside, with farms and other properties set back a wee bit, but within a mile the road is back into suburbia as it reaches Blantyre, on the northern fringes of Hamilton.
Just before entering the town, the A724 crosses the Rotten Calder on Priory Bridge, although the modern crossing is more a large culvert hidden among the trees. It then passes between two housing estates which back onto the road to meet the B758 at a mini roundabout. This was once a staggered crossroads, and the southern arm still turns off at a simple T junction. Now following Glasgow Road south east, the older houses front onto the road, while newer blocks sit back behind tree lines service roads. A row of shops marks the old centre of Blantyre, beyond which the spacious Stonefield Park opens up on the left. Two more roundabouts follow and then the eastbound onslip for the A725, East Kilbride Expressway turns off to the left. After passing under the dual carriageway, a roundabout is met, from which the other sliproads can be found, although both offslips are someway to the east along the industrial Whistleberry Road.
The route continues on Glasgow Road as it winds through an industrial areas to a mini roundabout, and then runs south-east through the Springwells district of Burnbank. It meets the B7012 at a signalised T junction, which is effectively a TOTSO as the B7012 to the west and A724 to the east are dualled. This dual carriageway, named Burnbank Road, curves around the south of the small Burnbank shopping centre to a roundabout where it resumes the historic route still on Burnbank Road, which quickly returns to S2. This long straight road passes between houses and business premises to a signalised crossroads, where the route splits. To the left, Clydesdale Street is a three lane one way road heading east, while Burnbank Road continues ahead as a normal single carriageway. Clydesdale Street then turns right onto Douglas Street to reach a signalised crossroads with Almada Street. To the left is the northern end of the A72, while to the right the A724 returns to meet Burnbank Road again at Peacock Cross, another signalised crossroads. This loop used to be a normal one-way system, but was changed in the early 2010s.
On its final section the A724 curves along Union Street into the town centre, where it becomes Brandon Street, passing Hamilton Central Station and Hamilton Bus Station. Traffic is then dropped onto the Hamilton town centre one-way system, eastbound traffic turning left into Leechlee Road, the B7071 and westbound traffic joining from the A723 (Duke Street and Quarry Street).
The route detailed above was entirely numbered as part of the A74 in the 1922 Road Lists. At that time, the A724 started on the A721 to the north of Uddingston and then headed south to end in Hamilton on the A74. In 1936, the two numbers were swapped over and the A724 was rerouted west from Hamilton, to end on the A749 in Rutherglen as it does now. The original route of the A724 through Uddingston is therefore now the B7071, having been downgraded when the M74 opened, although it continued along Cadzow Street to Hamilton Old Cross.
The rest of the route has changed surprisingly little, in terms of the overall line followed, since 1935. Priory Bridge over the Rotten Calder was bypassed in the 1930s, while the deviation around Burnbank shopping centre partly uses an old railway line and post-dates 1974. Before the modern town centre relief road was built in Hamilton, the A724 continued across the A723 and used Miller Street to reach the old A74 (now the A72), Carlisle Road. The numerous changes to the carriageway layout - the insertion of the central reservation and subsequent installations of bus lanes etc are much harder to document, although most of the D1 sections appear to have effectively been so since before 2008. The changes since then are largely the formalisation of a single running lane with the installation of marked parking bays instead of just unmarked on street parking. Marked Cycle routes are also a more recent addition to the street scene.
The 0.64 mile online dualling of Cambuslang Main Street (phases 2 and 3) was completed in 1969 per the 1969 Scottish Development Department Report.