|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Castle Douglas (NX772642)|
|Distance:||6.1 miles (9.8 km)|
|Meets:||A711, B727, A713, A75|
|Former Number(s):||B727, A75|
|Old route now:||B793|
|Route outline (key)|
It is one of those short, insignificant roads on the map that actually carries a fair amount of traffic, for South West Scotland anyway, as it provides the main route west for Dalbeattie traffic and also it is occasionally called to replace the A75 when it is closed for frequent roadworks.
Dalbeattie - Castle Douglas
The road starts to the west of Dalbeattie on the far side of the Urr Water. At the only traffic lights for miles around A711 traffic has to TOTSO left to become the coast road whilst the A745 continues ahead, initially running northwards.
The A745 runs steeply alongside the closed Craignair quarry through a thickly wooded hillside, although in winter you get excellent views of Dalbeattie. For those into industrial heritage the road runs beside the former site of the Aerial Ropeway - a unique bucket link to take crushed granite from the quarry to the former railway on the other side of the valley. At the top of the hill the road makes a hairpin bend. This is the site of many accidents where people fail to judge the tightness and end up damaging the very necessary crash barriers. The bend has been opened up in recent years by removing some of the hillside. The road for the next couple of miles is very windy with few overtaking positions - the road also rises and drops through a number of nearly blind bends. With a bit of practise you can do 60 but it takes nerve.
About 2.5 miles from Dalbeattie the road meets the B727 (direct route to Kirkcudbright) and begins a new alignment. After all the twists it is a shock to end up looking down a gentle hill and seeing a one-mile straight ahead. Large laybys show the previous winding route. The road is now characterised by long, wide, open bends and decent straights between them. This part of the road is fairly featureless except for pylons which litter the area. After crossing a small concrete bridge on a wide open we see the former railway emerge from the right hand side as a small cutting and old bridge. The road used to go under the bridge, turn a tight bend and follow us about a hundred yards to the north. However, the new alignment has been built on the old railway route so we get a flat, wide, open road. We leave the railway alignment about 0.5 miles from Castle Douglas on a wide bend while the railway continues under a bridge (again for the old road). We then enter the town. Castle Douglas has sensible limits the 30 begins as soon as buildings appear on both sides.
We continue into the town, first along Dalbeattie Road, then we turn steeply to the right onto Oakwell Road before continuing to the main roundabout. This roundabout used to be on the A75 but since the bypass has been built the A745 and A713 alignments have been changed. The A713 has been extended to this roundabout to meet us and we have been extended to the east. We turn right around the roundabout and continue through the exclusive residential street of Ernespie Road past some expensive hotels. Just as the road opens up we enter a 40 mph limit (they do still exist!) and continue towards the bypass. We pass an old filling station, closed since the rerouting of the A75, and finally end at the roundabout at the northern end of the Castle Douglas bypass.
The A745 did not exist in 1922 but came into existence later in the 1920s. When originally inaugurated, the road started on the A710 at Caulkerbush then ran via Dalbeattie to the A75 in Castle Douglas; east of Dalbeattie the road was unclassified and west was the B727. In the 1960s the eastern half of the A745 was downgraded, becoming the B793.
The original route of the A745 followed the current B793 from Caulkerbush then the unclassified Moss Road into Dalbeattie. It then multiplexed with the A710 on Dalbeattie High Street (the A710 has since been moved to the western bypass of Dalbeattie - now sadly very built up). At the top of the High Street (junction with A711) it entered a triple multiplex for a hundred yards with the A711/A710. The A710 then departed up Maxwell Street to Haugh of Urr and an eventual joining with the A75 (this has been partially declassified and partially reclassified to the B794). The A745 then multiplexed with the current A711 as far as Craignair Bridge where the current split occurs on its western side.
As stated above, the road originally ended on the A75 in Castle Douglas town centre. When that road was moved onto the bypass, the A745 was extended north along the pre-bypass road.