|Location Map ( geo)
|East Kilbride (NS641537)
|11 miles (17.7 km)
|A89, B804, B753, A8, M8, B7070, A721, B7001, M74, A7071, B7012, A724, B758, B783, A749, B761, A726
|B7012, A726, A776, A749
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
Coatbridge - Bothwell
The route commences at the Coatbridge Roundabout on the A89, close to Coatbridge town centre and heads south along Coatbank Street as a dual carriageway. After passing under a footbridge, it climbs up past some industrial and retail properties to another roundabout for the Faraday Retail Park, which has been hidden behind a hedge and wall on the right. A slight climb then takes Whifflet Street over the railway and down to another roundabout, with the B753. The two routes then multiplex south past the tower blocks to a signalised crossroads, where the B753 turns left. The A725 continues south along the dualled Whifflets Street through the Rosehall and Shawhead districts, with only a single central reservation gap remaining - all of the others have been closed up. Most of the side roads into the surrounding housing estates have been closed up, but traffic for the industrial area further south has to double back.
Two signalised junctions then follow in quick succession. The first is a crossroads with the local distributor road serving the southern part of Coatbridge, while the second connects to the eastbound carriageway of the A8. This is the start of the Shawhead Junction complex, which connects to the A8, M8 and B7070. After crossing over the A8 dual carriageway, the sliproads for the westbound carriageway meet opposite the B7070 at another signalised junction, but this is the last at grade junction on the A725 before it reaches East Kilbride. The connection with the motorway is extremely limited, with only two sliproads facing south on the A725 and east on the M8. Other sliproads could have been incorporated into the junction without any additional land take, and some wouldn't have even needed bridges, but as all other movements are catered for via the A8, it seems that these two sliproads were considered to be necessary due to the volume of traffic making these turns.
Once clear of the junction, the route drops down to cross the North Calder Water and so enter Bellshill. The Bellshill Bypass was built through a mix of open fields, derelict industrial sites and partially on an old railway line, but is now largely surrounded by large industrial estates and business parks. The first junction encountered is known locally as the Diamond Interchange, a dumbbell junction, giving access to the Bellshill Industrial Estate to the east and the Righead Industrial Estate to the west. There is also an additional northbound offlslip into the Strathclyde Business park at the northern end of the Righead Industrial Estate, with a single onslip at this part of the junction. The southern end of the industrial estates is served by the Belziehill Junction, where the A721 and B7001 meet at a large roundabout above the A725. The next junction is the Orbiston Interchange, a Trumpet design with the southern end of the B7070, and so marks the end of the Bellshill Bypass, with the A725 returning to its original line.
As the route leaves Bellshill, it crosses the West Coast main railway line and crosses a couple of fields before skirting the northern edge of the Strathclyde Country Park. This is accessed from the next junction - Raith Interchange, which was rebuilt in 2015/16 to allow the A725 to pass under the M74 unimpeded, when traffic previously had to navigate the roundabout. Despite the underpasses being built as a full dual carriageway, the southbound carriageway is hatched down to a single lane through the junction, allowing the onslip to become a lane gain. Heading in the opposite direction, the northbound offslip has to negotiate a signalised junction with the dualled A7071 to reach the roundabout.
Bothwell - East Kilbride
After passing under the Raith Interchange, the route crosses the Clyde just around the bend, and upstream of Bothwell Bridge, marking the start of the East Kilbride Expressway. It then passes under the B7071 and briefly curves along the south bank of the river, bypassing one industrial estate before a series of sliproads give access to the next. Heading west, a detached section of the B7012 forms a long offslip along Whistleberry Road, with an underpass connecting to the eastbound carriageway. The A725 then crosses over the A724, which has direct onslips, but no offslips to it. A surprising tight left hand bend then curves between the housing estates of Hamilton and Blantyre and around to the next junction, a more conventional roundabout interchange with the mainline of the B7012. The road is well screened by trees, to very few if any houses can be spied, and the industrial estate to the south is equally well hidden.
The next junction is close enough that the onslip becomes a brief lane gain when heading west, but not eastbound. It connects to the B758 which serves High Blantyre to the north, while an unclassified road heads south into the Blantyre Industrial Estate. The B7012 is met a final time at the western edge of the urban area, although there is only an eastbound offslip, other movements available via the B758. A few fields are crossed between these two junctions, before the route dips a little to cross the Rotten Calder and enter East Kilbride new town. There is little of the town to see at first, however, as once again mature trees stand along the roadside. A gap in the trees reveals some tower blocks, and then the A725 splits. The spur gets priority as it continues ahead to meet the A749 at a roundabout near the retails parks. The spur has a single intermediate junction, with the westbound carriageway only, serving the car dealerships located in the triangle between dual carriageways. Eastbound traffic has a junction with the mainline of the A725.
The mainline, then, curves south westwards to meet the A749 at the Whirlies Roundabout, which marks the end of the grade separated section from the M8. The route remains a dual carriageway, however, as it heads south on Kingsway, crossing the Whitemoss Roundabout with the B761 to end at the Birniehill Roundabout on the A726. The dual carriageway turns right here, becoming the A726 as it runs through East Kilbride and on along the Glasgow Southern Orbital Route.
It was diverted onto the Bellshill Bypass in 1969 (a 2.5 mile dual carriageway from M8 Shawhead Junction to M74 Raith Interchange), although it seems to have taken some time for the route through the town centre to be renumbered as the B7070. The original line of the A725, and indeed the upgraded Bellshill Bypass, is now the A7071 / B7071 spur, with the route originally terminating on what is now the mainline of the B7071 just north of Bothwell Bridge. It was extended west in the late 1970s along the new built East Kilbride Expressway, taking over parts of the B7012, A776 and A749 to reach its current terminus in East Kilbride.
Section 1, the 2 mile dual carriageway from Whirlies Roundabout, East Kilbride to Stoneymeadow Road / Hamilton Road, west of High Blantyre had been completed in 1967 per the 1967 Scottish Development Department Report. The dualling of Kingsway from Birniehill Roundabout to Whitemoss Roundabout (B761) was completed in 1969 per the 1969 Scottish Development Department Report (it opened as A749).
The fact that the spur at the entrance to East Kilbride has priority over the mainline suggests that the route was intended to continue west here, rather than turning south. There have, indeed, been various proposals over the years to provide a dual carriageway route around the north of East Kilbride, effectively on the line of Stewartfield Way, which is an unclassified distributor route and connects to the Glasgow Southern Orbital (A726) at the Phillipshill Roundabout. There are still plans to partially dual this road, although work seems to be progressing very slowly, and seems no longer likely that the A725 will be diverted if the route is ever upgraded.