|Location Map ( geo)|
|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|
|Route outline (key)|
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. It is one of the longest B roads in the UK.
Gretna to Ecclefechan
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, over the River Sark. At Gretna there is a roundabout with the B721, which was the A75 until the Gretna bypasses were built in 1973. Heading out of Gretna, the road crosses over the current A75 and also the railway line from Gretna to Stranraer. The road then turns to the right and heads under the A74(M) into the village of Springfield, before travelling on a very straight course for several miles along the route of the old pre-dualling A74. The road passes under the A74(M) (meeting the south-facing slip roads at J21) again as it enters Kirkpatrick Fleming, where there is a mini roundabout with the B6357. Heading north out of Kirkpatrick Fleming, the road joins the route of the former A74 dual carriageway via a former sliproad of an old GSJ. The B7076 utilises the old northbound carriageway of the A74 at this point and bypasses Kirtlebridge.
The road then passes over the A74(M) and picks up the alignment of the A74 route again on the other side. As it passes under the B722, it is clear where the former southbound carriageway used to be, and a sliproad of the former GSJ is still in use to link the two roads. On entering Ecclefechan, the road once again uses an old sliproad from the A74 and passes under the motorway and into the village. The motorway is built on the alignment of the old Ecclefechan bypass at this point and the B725 multiplexes along our road.
Ecclefechan to Lockerbie
Upon leaving Ecclefechan, the road climbs fairly steeply and rejoins the route of the old dual carriageway. The former southbound carriageway is easily visible as the road crosses a bridge over the oddly named Water of Milk. A couple of miles south of Lockerbie the road crosses over the motorway once again, before reaching a T-junction with the B723. Turning right, the road arrives 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 road follows the route of the old Lockerbie bypass, using the former southbound carriageway of the A74. The road passes under the A709 close to the site of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing disaster. A sliproad of the old GSJ is in use here.
Lockerbie to Beattock
After meeting the B7068 at a roundabout (again replacing a GSJ) and heading north from Lockerbie, part of the northbound carriageway is in use as a cycle path for a mile or so. The road continues northwards with several long, straight sections before crossing over the motorway and entering Johnstonebridge. Here there is a former Little Chef, which was closed in 1995 when the nearby Annandale Water services opened on the new motorway. A spur of the B7076 turns right to meet the A74(M) at J16.
To the north of Johnstonebridge the road is much the same, using the former southbound carriageway of the A74. To the south of Beattock the road meets the A701 at a T-junction on the site of an old trumpet GSJ which linked the A701 to the A74. For the entire length of the old Beattock bypass the B7076 multiplexes with the A701, and part of the northbound carriageway is in use as a cycle path. At the north end of Beattock there is a roundabout, which is part of the current J15 of the A74(M). The old telephone exchange at Beattock is visible to the left.
Beattock to Elvanfoot
Going north from Beattock, the road leaves the A701 and also the course of the old A74, and climbs for 7 miles towards Beattock Summit. The motorway is built on top of the old dual carriageway and so the B7076 is built on a new alignment until the Dumfriesshire/Lanarkshire county boundary, where the B7076 picks up the route of the old A74 once again. The road passes under the West Coast Main Line at the well known Harthope Viaduct, which was replaced in 2006, before making the final ascent to Beattock Summit. On this section of the route the 2 carriageways of the A74 were some distance apart. After passing Beattock Summit the road passes over the WCML again and then over the motorway, before continuing past Elvanfoot to J14 of the A74(M), where the B7076 ends and the A702 takes over the old A74 route to the north.
Through 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, when the A74(M) was built, one carriageway of the superseded A74 was renamed 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.
The bridge at Gretna over the River Sark, which forms the border, was one of those built by Telford and only wide enough for one lane of modern traffic. Circa 1960, when still part of the A74, it was supplemented by a temporary steel Bailey bridge alongside for northbound traffic, with the old bridge used for southbound traffic. This set-up remained when the road was demoted on completion of the A74 Gretna bypass in 1973 and its upgrade to motorway in 1992. Finally the Telford bridge was sensitively widened in 2001, winning a Saltire award, and the Bailey bridge removed.