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B7066

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B7066
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (36)
From:  Carfin (NS771584)
To:  Whitburn (NS946653)
Via:  Newhouse
Distance:  12.5 miles (20.1 km)
Meets:  B7029, A73, A775, B7057, B717, B718, B7069, A706
Former Number(s):  A723, A8
Old route now:  A706
Highway Authorities

North Lanarkshire • West Lothian

Traditional Counties

Lanarkshire • West Lothian

Route outline (key)
B7066 Carfin - Newhouse
(A73) Newhouse
B7066 Newhouse - Whitburn

The B7066 is a medium-length route, largely shadowing the M8 in Scotland's Central Belt.

Route

Carfin - Kirk of Shotts

Looking east from the Salsburgh Footbridge

The route starts at traffic lights on the B7029 in Carfin and heads northeast along Newarthill Road, which is predominatly lined with flats. It soon crosses over a railway line and passes between a school and the Carfin Grotto (a Catholic pilgrimage site) to reach a mini roundabout. This gives access to a housing estate off to the right, but the B7066 continues ahead and goes over another railway line above Carfin station. The route then follows Carfin Road past housing estates and into the centre of Newarthill. There are a scattering of shops and businesses between the houses on Carfin Road, but most lie around the corner on the High Street. As the route winds north east through the town, it passes through a long stretch of ribbon development with houses strung along the roadside, interspersed by small blocks of woodland, and corners of fields for another half mile. There are small housing estates leading off to the left, but on the right the properties all back onto fields. Eventually a large industrial plant is passed on the right, with fields opposite before the route reaches a forked T-junction on the A73. There's then a very brief multiplex north to the Newhouse Roundabout, where the B7066 regains its number by turning right.

The B7066 now follows the dead-straight Glasgow & Edinburgh Road, which was originally built in the late 1920s / early 30s as the new route of the A8 between the two cities. It is therefore a good wide road, with a very wide verge on the south side that was clearly provided as future proofing if the route ever needed dualling. However, when the time came for an upgrade, the M8 was built a short distance to the north instead. The route narrowly bypasses Main Street in Salsburgh, although it still runs through the village, as a large new estate was built to the south of the main road in the 1950s and the footbridge connecting the two also crosses the wide verge. However, no buildings actually front onto the main road. At the far end of Main Street, the route bears right to avoid the motorway and instead runs through Kirk of Shotts. This is an old road which was bypassed by the new A8, which in turn was upgraded to motorway, pushing the B7066 onto the older road.

Kirk of Shotts - Whitburn

Greenrigg, Harthill

The route wiggles a little as it passes the tiny settlements of Kirk of Shotts and Hirst on slight bypasses and then straightens up again to cross the B7057 at a staggered crossroads. The short northern arm leads to M8 J5, while the somewhat longer southern arm stretches south towards Shotts itself. After passing a straggly row of houses on the left, and a substantial quarry site hidden behind trees to the right, the route regains the old line of the A8, with the motorway running just the other side of the trees on the left. A short distance later the route enters Eastfield on Edinburgh Road, where the two northern ends of the B717 turn off to the right between the houses, while an industrial estate lies behind the trees to the left. Eastfield is part of the same urban area as Harthill, and the route runs along Main Street, with shops and businesses scattered along both sides between the houses. It is hard to believe that this road once carried four lanes of traffic through the town centre. The B718 turns off at a mini roundabout in front of the church.

Harthill has grown up to straddle the county and council boundary between Lanarkshire and West Lothian, so this is crossed just after the roundabout. A row of bungalows then sits along the left hand side of the road, looking out across a playing field and then fields. The wide grass verge has resumed on the right, and the route soon re-enters open country, with the large Polkemmet Country Park lying between it and the motorway to the north. New housing developments can then be seen up to the right just as the route begins to curve left to reach a roundabout on the edge of Whitburn. From this large, modern roundabout, an unclassified road continues ahead through the Heartlands Business Park to reach M8 J4A, whilst the B7069 turns right into the centre of Whitburn. The B7066 slips between the two and continues along the tree lined bypass, still following the straight line of the old A8. It then has to curve right to avoid the motorway, and comes to an end at a T junction on the A706 just south of the motorway overbridge.

History

uncertain labelling on the 1971 One Inch map

The route of the B7066 has, as noted above, had an interesting history. On classification in 1922 the majority of it was the A705. However, the western section Carfin to Newhouse was the northern end of the A723, and a couple of other sections were unclassified, or not yet built. The B7066 number first appears on OS mapping in 1971, even though the motorway had progressively opened over the preceding years, It appears that the A8 continued to thread its way along the old alignment, including using the formerly unclassified road through Kirk of Shotts, until the motorway was completed. A number of maps erroneously show sections of the B7066 as the B7006 - a number which has always applied to a short route in Roslin, Midlothian. This is presumed to be an error, probably related to poor handwriting. The eastern most section of the B7066 has always been labelled correctly.

In the first instance, the B7066 continued further east than it does today, to meet the B7002 at Boghead Roundabout. This remained the case until the A801 was constructed in the 1980s, at which point the A706 was diverted out of Armadale onto what had been the A8 a few years earlier. At the western end, the B7066 originally started at the Newhouse Roundabout. However, when the new A723 was opened through Carfin and New Stevenston c2000, the old route became an extension of the B7066, leading to the current extent of the route.

From west to east, therefore, the B7066 now follows the former line of the A723 from Carfin to Newhouse, then the A705 from Newhouse to the western end of Salsburgh. The Salsburgh bypass was built as part of the new A8 route, and all of this section of the A705 was renumbered in the early 1930s, although the Salsburgh bypass may have actually opened as the A705. Between Salsburgh and Easstfield, the B7066 largely follows what was an unclassified road. The two slight realignments at Kirk of Shotts and Hirst were both built in the early 1960s, perhaps to help maintain traffic flows while the A8 was being upgraded to Motorway. When the motorway opened, this part of the route is shown on mapping as being the A8 for a couple of years before being renumbered again. From Harthill to Whitburn the route was originally the A705, then the A8, but when the new A8 was built it forked off the A705 at the western edge of Whitburn onto the bypass, as the B7066 does now. This section of the route was therefore built new in c1930. The extreme eastern end dates from the construction of the motorway, as the 'new' A8 continued ahead in a straight line across the motorway onto the current A706 line.




B7066
Junctions
Places
Related Pictures
View gallery (36)
Old A8 (B7066) Salsburgh looking west - Coppermine - 14218.JPGOld A8, Salsburgh looking west July 07 - Coppermine - 14166.JPGOld A8 (B7066) near Shotts junction looking east - Coppermine - 14207.JPGB718-b7066.jpgA706-whitdale-rbt.jpg
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Bathgate
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B7080 • B7081 • B7082 • B7083 • B7084 • B7085 • B7086 • B7087 • B7088 • B7089 • B7090 • B7091 • B7092 • B7093 • B7094 • B7095 • B7096 • B7097 • B7098 • B7099
B7201
Earlier iterations: B7000 • B7011 • B7035 • B7039 • B7054 • B7058

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