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B7076

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B7076
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (80)
Old A74
From:  Gretna (NY330670)
To:  Elvanfoot (NS958186)
Via:  Lockerbie
Distance:  44.5 miles (71.6 km)
Meets:  M6, A6071, B721, A75, A74(M), B6357, B722, B725, B723, A709, B7068, A74(M), A701, B719, A702
Former Number(s):  A74
Highway Authorities

Cumberland • Dumfries and Galloway • South Lanarkshire

Traditional Counties

Cumberland • Dumfriesshire • Lanarkshire

Route outline (key)
B7076 Gretna - Beattock
(A701) Beattock
B7076 Beattock - Elvanfoot

Introduction

The B7076 runs from just south of the Anglo-Scottish border at Guards Mill (M6 junction 45) northwards to Elvanfoot (A74(M) junction 14), multiplexing on the way with the A701 Beattock bypass. Most of it was once part of the A74, and as such it rarely strays far from the motorway. It is one of the longest B roads in the UK.

Route

Gretna to Kirkpatrick Fleming

Entering Scotland

The B7076 starts just south of Gretna at J45 of the M6 and heads north into Gretna on the route of the pre-dualling A74. It crosses over the River Sark on Sark Bridge with hotels on either bank and a large overflow car park for the outlet centre. A short distance on it meets a roundabout for the B721, which was the A75 until the Gretna bypasses were built in 1973. The large retail outlet centre lies on the right, between the B7076 and the motorway, and draws a lot of trade to this small, but famous border village. The route then follows Glasgow Road north, past a handful of houses, and another overflow car park. Heading out of Gretna, a gentle climb lifts the road up to cross over the current A75 The sliproads for the westbound carriageway come up just before the bridge, and the eastbound offslip is met at signals at the top, with the B7076 continuing north across the railway line from Gretna to Stranraer before dropping down into Gretna Green.

Gretna Green is perhaps more famous than Gretna itself, as it is home to the Blacksmiths Shop where many of the weddings took place. To reach it, the route passes the old Parish Church and then TOTSOs to the right, with a possible spur continuing ahead to join the motorway. The mainline passes under the A74(M) to another TOTSO junction, in front of the Blacksmiths. Here the mainline turns left, while another possible spur turns right into the village of Springfield and on to meet the southbound offslip from the motorway. These two possible spurs connecting to the motorway sliproads have in the past been mapped and signed as part of the B7076, indeed the Springfield spur still has B7076 signage without brackets. However, the Council's official road list states that they are both now Class III routes, the C142a on the west side of the motorway and the C141a through Springfield.

For the next 3 miles, the B7076 follows a very straight course along the route of the old pre-dualling A74. Although the motorway is close at hand to the left, a thin strip of fields and even a couple of farms separate the two for much of the distance, with a wide agricultural landscape stretching out to the north. A left turn provides full access to the motorway at Gretna Green services, and unusually has no restrictions on usage. Towards the end of the straight, the route passes under the A74(M) (meeting the south-facing slip roads at J21) again as it enters the small village of Kirkpatrick Fleming. The motorway itself is partly hidden by trees, and then after passing a couple of houses, the route meets the B6357 at a mini roundabout at above the railway. Turning right here leads to the north facing sliproads for the motorway.

Kirkpatrick Fleming - Ecclefechan

Looking south east through Kirkpatrick Fleming

The B7076 follows the old main road through the village, past a mixture of houses and a few businesses. A long line of modern bungalows on the right then look out over fields and connect the village to Newton, a much smaller settlement short distance to the west. Heading north out of the village, a right turn crosses the motorway to reach a number of farms, and was originally built as part of a GSJ for the dualled A74. The B7076 therefore follows the old northbound onslip and soon comes alongside the motorway, although there is no longer a junction here. It follows the route of the former A74 dual carriageway, utilising the old northbound carriageway, and as soon as the motorway diverges, the wide verge shows the line of the old southbound carriageway. For most of this section, however, road and motorway are separated by little more than this verge, which was removed during the construction process. A notable feature is a left turn which leads to a bridge over both routes to reach the far side of the motorway - this is the first of several such junctions.

The B7076 uses the 1960s Kirtlebridge bypass, and crosses the centre of the bridge over the Kirtle Water, a bridge which seems too narrow for four lanes of traffic. At the far end of the bypass, a sinuous bend through trees carries the route over the A74(M) to pick up the old alignment of the A74 again on the other side. The wide grass verge where the southbound carriageway used to run is much clearer as the route passes the southern edge of the long village of Eaglesfield. There is no direct access, however, and the road crosses over the railway and under the B722 to find a junction. There used to be a diamond interchange at this bridge, but now a single slip road loops round to connect the two routes, with the B722 meeting the motorway a short distance to the south. A series of sinuous bends then lead across fields to reach Ecclefechan, where the motorway still follows the 1960s bypass. The route crosses the Mein Water on Mein Bridge, and then loosely follows the old southbound onslip to curve round and pass under the motorway.

Southern end of Ecclefechan's first bypass

Ecclefechan's first bypass quite possibly dates back to Thomas Telford's improvements to the route in the 1810s, and passes to the south of the villages High Street. This was the A74 until the early 1960s, then briefly part of the B725 before becoming the B7076 when the motorway opened. The route therefore follows Main Road through the village, passing houses on both sides before kinking left away from the High Street. An industrial sites sits on the left, and then the B725 is met at a crossroads. Originally, the B725 continued across through the village, but this route was severed by the motorway, so the two routes now multiplex north, with fields opening up on the left, to reach a roundabout near the far end of the village. Here, the B725 turns right, crossing the motorway at the Ecclefechan Interchange, while the B7076 continues ahead.

Ecclefechan to Lockerbie

Crossing the Water of Milk, with the old carriageway still in view

Upon leaving Ecclefechan, the road climbs fairly steeply and rejoins the route of the old dual carriageway. After passing a truckstop on the right, the road crosses the railway and then comes back alongside the motorway. The two stay at close quarters for over three miles as they wind northwestwards over undulating terrain. Along the way, there are two more left turns leading to bridges over the motorway, the second a private farm access. The route then crosses the railway, again at a crossroads, before winding past the wooded grounds of Castlemilk House. The road and motorway diverge a little here, meaning that the former southbound carriageway is easily visible as the road crosses a bridge over the oddly named Water of Milk. Another sweeping bend follows, carrying the road back across over the motorway and onto a long straight heading for Lockerbie. At the end of the straight, the route curves left to meet the B723 at a T-junction.

The B723 has priority in the short multiplex north towards the town. The B7076 resumes at a roundabout at the south end of the old Lockerbie bypass. Previously a GSJ stood here until the motorway was built in 1994. Continuing straight on from the roundabout, the route follows the old Lockerbie bypass, using the former southbound carriageway of the A74. For most of the bypass, the northbound carriageway was removed to allow the construction of the motorway, with little more than a concrete wall separating the verge from the hard shoulder. Midway along the bypass, it passes under the A709 (which also flies over the motorway on the same bridge) close to the site of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing disaster. Just beyond the bridge, a sliproad curves around and up to meet the A709, and although slightly re aligned where it meets the B7076 this appears to be the last remaining part of the old GSJ.

The route then slowly diverges from the motorway, and curves across a couple of fields, and past an industrial estate, to meet a roundabout (again replacing a GSJ) at the northern end of the old bypass. Here a right turn, along a stub end of the B7068 leads to the motorway at J17, while right leads back into town. The B7076 continues ahead.

Lockerbie to Beattock

Passing under the motorway to the north of Lockerbie

North of Lockerbie, part of the old northbound carriageway is in use as a cycle path for a mile or so, as the route curves gently across fields to cross the Dryfe Water at Dryfe Bridge. Soon after this, the cycle track becomes a roadside pavement, and then a single carriageway bridge carries the route over a farm track as the road comes alongside the motorway once more. A long straight past a vast sawmill complex has a right turn at each end which connects to a bridge over the motorway. By the second bridge, the A74 originally crossed the railway to the right, but this section was bypassed in the 1960s, so the B7076 is now sandwiched tightly between the motorway and railway for about half a mile. For the next two miles. the route continues northwards with several long, straight sections and the motorway just a fence away to the left. Part way along, a new roundabout has been installed for an 'industrial site' which appears to be related to the sawmill near Lockerbie.

At length, the route curves a little to the right before sweeping left and crossing over the motorway to enter Johnstonebridge. The River Annan is crossed on Johnstone Bridge at the entrance to the village, and the wide grass verge on the right once more shows that the route is following the old northbound carriageway. The first houses are set back behind this grass, then some encroach onto it, but the road itself is cutting across to the southbound carriageway, with the cycle track keeping to the old northbound side. The next houses therefore sit back on the left hand side, and opposite is an old garage and former Little Chef, which were made redundant in 1995 when the nearby Annandale Water services opened on the new motorway. Just beyond, a spur of the B7076 turns right to meet the A74(M) at J16, with the services on the far side.

Heading north from Johnstonebridge

To the north of Johnstonebridge the route slowly converges back against the motorway. The cycle lanes are now on the road, and there are wide verges to both sides, making it difficult to be certain which carriageway has been retained, although it appears that the B7076 now mostly uses the old southbound carriageway but meanders across the whole formation of the old road in a couple of places. The landscape of the upper reaches of Annandale is very pleasant, but substantial tree planting to screen the motorway and help nature reclaim the old road line means that the views from the B7076 are hard to see. About three miles north of Johnstonebridge, the route pulls away from the motorway a little, and after crossing a burn, it climbs up and loses the trees to reveal the hills to the east. A line of narrow, sloping fields (or grass banks in places) then continues to fill the space between the road and motorway as the two wind northwards towards Beattock. Before reaching the village, the route meets the A701 at a T-junction on the site of an old modified trumpet GSJ which linked the A701 to the A74.

Beattock to Elvanfoot

For the entire length of the old Beattock bypass the B7076 multiplexes with the A701, and part of the old northbound carriageway is in use as a cycle path. Like Ecclefechan, Beattock has been bypassed more than once, and the route followed by the A701 was first built in c1962. At the north end of Beattock there is a roundabout, which is part of the current J15 of the A74(M). This is a completely rebuilt version of the Junction originally built in the 1960s. The B7076 resumes at this roundabout, departing to the south west with a long curve to take it north and so it quickly picks up the line of the old A74 once more. For the next couple of miles, the B7076 is squeezed between the motorway and the Evan Water. Despite this, it appears to use the old southbound carriageway much of the time, with a wide tree lined space to the left above the river. The motorway is just a couple of metres to the right, separated by a thin strip of grass with crash barriers either side of a wooden fence.

The well known bridge carrying the B719 across the motorway to meet the B7076

The Evan Water is crossed at a junction, meaning that the bridge itself is a long tunnel under the road. The motorway continues on the east bank and is built on top of the old dual carriageway, so the B7076 is built on a new alignment until the Dumfriesshire/Lanarkshire county boundary. This new road is built tight below the railway, and follows its gentle curves northwards, climbing steadily, with the river down to the right. At length, the trees peel back to reveal the well-known landmark of the bridge that carries the B719, known locally as 'Greenhillstairs' across the motorway and river to meet the B7076 at a simple T junction. Half a mile further north, the B7076 re-crosses the river itself, and curves tightly against the motorway, which is banked up to the right, before diving under the West Coast Main Line at the well known Harthope Viaduct, which was replaced in 2006, and crossing back to the western bank once more. The A74 also used to cross the river here, and the B7076 follows the 1960s southbound carriageway, with the northbound carriageway on a rock cut ledge above to the left, and the original line now a lorry parking area to the right.

Looking south on the climb up to Beattock Summit

Eventually, these three strands converge, and begin the final ascent to Beattock Summit. The valley is somewhat narrower here, and the route crosses the ever smaller river twice more as it winds northwards. At the second bridge, the railway also crosses nearby, but the motorway stays on the east bank until the river is barely discernible. Beattock Summit, at around 315m, is a well known waymark on the route north, and is marked by a mobile phone mast between the road and the railway. The B7076 is still using the old southbound carriageway, and as it starts its descent it passes over the WCML again and then a series of snaking bends carry it over the motorway as well. As it comes back alongside the motorway, the route is again most closely following the old southbound carriageway, although the motorway has often consumed part of the northbound side. The two routes then diverge a little past Newton Farm, where the Clyde has been slightly diverted for the motorway, before continuing past Elvanfoot village to the west to J14 of the A74(M).

Here a roundabout serves the southbound onslip and about 500m to the north, after crossing the Clyde on Elvanfoot Bridge, the B7076 ends at a TOTSO T junction on the A702, which takes over the old A74 route to the north. Northbound slips are provided by following the A702 under the motorway to another roundabout, while the southbound offslip is over a mile away north of Crawford village. This might be the end of the B7076, but the A702 takes over the old A74 for the next five and a half miles, and then the B7078 continues the journey north. The close similarity of these numbers means that many people don't realise they are two different routes.

History

Main Article: M74 and A74(M) History

The history of the B7076 is so intricately tied up in that of the motorway alongside that it is difficult to separate the two. As noted above, through many of the villages such as Kirkpatrick Fleming and Gretna, the road now known as the B7076 was the A74 before the building of a bypass as part of the original dualling of the A74. On long stretches between the villages, when the A74(M) was built, one carriageway of the superseded A74 was renumbered as the B7076 to serve local and prohibited traffic, and the other was removed and landscaped. In places, notably a 7-mile stretch north of Beattock, the motorway was created by online widening of the A74, and the B7076 was built on a new alignment nearby. As the motorway was not completed until 1999, most of the B7076 is much as it was left at the time of its completion. The trees have grown, the surface repaired, and here and there the cycle track has been added.

In many places, the B7076 follows sections of Thomas Telford's Carlisle - Glasgow road, built as part of his commission to improve transport in the Scottish Highlands. The lines of a Roman Road have also been identified in the area, particularly between Lockerbie and Moffat, as depicted on the OS maps. Further south, the long straight out of Gretna appears to be on the Roman Line, but between Eaglesfield and Lockerbie it crossed the hills, to pass close to a hillfort repurposed by the Romans.

Links




B7076
Junctions
Services
Crossings
Roads
Places
Related Pictures
View gallery (80)
Old A74, Ecclefechan - Coppermine - 18480.JPGKirkpatrick Fleming (original A74) - Coppermine - 18476.JPGOriginal A74, Kirtlebridge - Coppermine - 18390.JPGBig Beattock Sign, B7076 - Coppermine - 13674.JPGA74 01.jpg
Other nearby roads
Lockerbie
Gretna
B7000 – B7999
B7000 • B7001 • B7002 • B7003 • B7004 • B7005 • B7006 • B7007 • B7008 • B7009 • B7010 • B7011 • B7012 • B7013 • B7014 • B7015 • B7016 • B7017 • B7018 • B7019
B7020 • B7021 • B7022 • B7023 • B7024 • B7025 • B7026 • B7027 • B7028 • B7029 • B7030 • B7031 • B7032 • B7033 • B7034 • B7035 • B7036 • B7037 • B7038 • B7039
B7040 • B7041 • B7042 • B7043 • B7044 • B7045 • B7046 • B7047 • B7048 • B7049 • B7050 • B7051 • B7052 • B7053 • B7054 • B7055 • B7056 • B7057 • B7058 • B7059
B7060 • B7061 • B7062 • B7063 • B7064 • B7065 • B7066 • B7067 • B7068 • B7069 • B7070 • B7071 • B7072 • B7073 • B7074 • B7075 • B7076 • B7077 • B7078 • B7079
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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