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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (78)
From:  Abington (NS929246)
To:  Gretna (NY331669)
Distance:  48.5 miles (78.1 km)
Meets:  M74, A702, A701, A75, M6
Former Number(s):  A74
Highway Authorities

National Highways • Transport Scotland

Traditional Counties

Cumberland • Dumfriesshire • Lanarkshire

Route outline (key)
A74(M) Abington – Gretna
Junction List
Junc Northbound Southbound
13 M74; A702, B7078 Start of Motorway
Services symbol.gif Abington services (At J13)
14 (N) No Exit A702
14 (S) A702 No Exit
Bridge Elvanfoot Motorway Bridge
15 A701, B7076 A701, B7076
16 B7076 B7076
Services symbol.gif Annandale Water Services
(At J16)
17 B7068 B7068
18 B723 No Exit
19 B725 B725
Bridge Mein Bridge
20 B722 B722
21 (N) No Exit B6357
21 (S) B7076 No Exit
Services symbol.gif Gretna Services
22 A75 (B7076)
M6 J45 Start of Motorway M6
For detailed information about this topic, see Motorway Database


Running through rural Southern Scotland, the A74(M) forms the middle part of the England–Scotland motorway. It links the M6 to the M74. It shares its junction numbers with the M74.


Abington Interchange

Abington Interchange.png
Main Article: Abington Interchange

The Abington Interchange is where the A74(M) and M74 change numbers, and also forms the main access to Edinburgh from the motorway network. It was formerly a fork junction between A74 and A73. During the motorway construction in the early 1990s, the junction was rebuilt into the present layout.

Crawford & Elvanfoot Interchanges

Crawford and Elvanfoot Interchanges.png
Main Article: Crawford and Elvanfoot Interchanges

The Crawford & Elvanfoot Interchanges are a series of junctions all belonging to J14 of the A74(M). It best to think of this junction as one even though the distance between the Entry & Exit slip roads of the southbound A74(M) is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) apart. These set of junctions are very much like the Sawtry Interchange on the A1(M) and the Leatherhead Interchange on the M25.

Guards Mill Interchange

Guards Mill Interchange.png
Main Article: Guards Mill Interchange

The Guards Mill Interchange is the southern terminus of the A74(M). It is a ½ diamond and it was built in the 1970s. Today it is where the A74(M) becomes M6.


Abington services

Abington Service Station.jpg
Main Article: Abington services

These services are shared between the M74 & the A74(M) and are operated by Welcome Break.

Annandale Water services

Main Article: Annandale Water services

These services are shared between the A74(M) & the B7076 and are operated by Roadchef.

Gretna Green services

Gretna Service Area.jpg
Main Article: Gretna Green services

These services are the last on the A74(M). These services also has a secret exit to the B7076.


Main Article: M74 and A74(M) History

Opening Dates

For detailed information about this section, see Motorway Database: M61 Timeline

Numbering Confusion

Since the 1990s, the route between Glasgow and the border has caused confusion for changing numbers at Abington (J13). This was exacerbated in December 2008 when the M6 was extended to meet the A74(M) at Gretna, thereby filling in the Cumberland Gap. Given that the three numbers were three separate stretches of motorway when the first section of A74(M) opened, and that the A74(M) was a temporary number (in the traditional style of the A48(M), etc.) it was a fairly logical thing until the planned renumbering didn't happen when the gaps were filled.

In effect, the M6, A74(M) and M74 are now the designations given to three sections of a single continuous motorway, with two en route changes of designation (unintentionally at the border and the turn-off for Edinburgh). The southernmost and by far the longest section is the M6; the M74 is the northernmost and shortest, with the A74(M) in the middle.

Junction numbers on the M6 increase northwards. At junction 45 it becomes the A74(M) and numbers decrease from 22 downwards as you head north to Glasgow on the A74(M)/M74.

Situations like this are common in France where, for instance, the A6 and A7 terminate end on in Lyon, with the A7 having been built from Marseilles and the A6 from Paris (other situations occur where toll motorways and free motorways have different numbers: eg. A71 and A75). However, the M74–A74(M) join is unique and the most bizarre.


Roads UK

E05 • E18
Related Pictures
View gallery (78)
Roadworks on the A74(M) - Geograph - 1026762.jpg3 Generations of A74, Crawford - Coppermine - 18522.JPGA74(M) before J16 - Coppermine - 3530.JPGM74 Southbound - Coppermine - 16814.jpgCrawford and Elvanfoot Interchanges.png
Other nearby roads
Motorways in Great Britain
Current MotorwaysM1 • M2 • M3 • M4 • M5 • M6 • M6 Toll • M8 • M9 • M11 • M18 • M20 • M23 • M25 • M26 • M27 • M32 • M40 • M42 • M45 • M48 • M49 • M50 • M53 • M54 • M55 • M56 • M57 • M58 • M60 • M61 • M62 • M65 • M66 • M67 • M69 • M73 • M74 • M77 • M80 • M90 • M180 • M181 • M271 • M275 • M602 • M606 • M621 • M876 • M898
A1(M) • A3(M) • A8(M) • A14(M) • A38(M) • A48(M) • A57(M) • A58(M) • A64(M) • A66(M) • A74(M) • A92(M) • A167(M) • A168(M) • A194(M) • A195(M) • A308(M) • A329(M) • A404(M) • A601(M) • A627(M) • A635(M) • A666(M) • A823(M) • A1058(M) • A1077(M)
Motorway Spurs • (M4 Heathrow Spur • M25 T5 Spur • Walton Summit M'way)
Former MotorwaysM10 • M15 • M16 • M30 • M41 • M52 • M62 • M63 • M64 • M65 • M68 • M85 • M110 • M111 • M270 • M274 • M531 • M600
A2(M) • A4(M) • A5(M) • A8(M) • A11(M) • A18(M) • A20(M) • A21(M) • A23(M) • A36(M) • A40(M) (Central London) • A40(M) (Buckinghamshire) • A41(M) • A46(M) • A48(M) (Morriston) • A48(M) (Port Talbot) • A65(M) • A102(M) (North) • A102(M) (South) • A423(M) • A446(M) • A604(M) • A638(M) • A696(M) • A1231(M) • A6127(M) • A6138(M) • A6144(M)
Unbuilt MotorwaysM4 Toll • M12 (Woodford - Brentford) • M12 (Woodford - Maplin) • M12 (Brentwood - -Chelmsford) • M13 • M17 • M19 • M31 • M58 • M59 • M60 • M62 RR • M64 • M81 • M82 • M83 • M100 • M272 • M601 • M650
A2(M) • A6(M) (West) • A6(M) (East) • A14(M) • A48(M) • A59(M) • A61(M) • A556(M) • A695(M)
A Ring • Bilston Link • Belmont Link • B-W M'way • CME Bypass • CMW • Central Spine • Chippenham Spur • Coventry N-S M'way • Cublington Airport M'way • Denham Spur • Derby Urban M'way • Droitwich-Leicester M'way • East Coast M'way • EXR • East Kilbride M'way • E-W Underground M'way • Eastern M'way • Euroroute • Friars Goose Xing • Furness Link • Glasgow IRR • GM Western Relief Road • Hamilton-Cumbernauld M'way • Hook Road • Johnstone M'way • Kendal Link • Liverpool Inner M'way • LOX M'way • Malvern Radial • Manchester IRR • Morecambe Link • NE Urban M'way • NXR • N&W M'way • Paisley-Hamilton M'way • POLO • Princess P'way M'way • Reading Urban M'way • Ringway 2 • Sheffield Spur • S Bristol Spur • SCRPDR • SXR • Stirling Corner Link • Strensham-Solihill M'way • Strensham-Solihill M'way • TGAAR • Townhill Link • Trafford Park M'way • Warndon Radial • Watford Urban M'Way • Western Orbital • Weston Spur

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