|From:||Birkenshaw, Lanarkshire (NS615619)|
|To:||Moodiesburn, Lanarkshire (NS714717)|
|Distance:||6 miles (9.7 km)|
|Meets:||M74, M8, A80, M80, A8(M)|
|Route outline (key)|
The M73 forms an eastern bypass of Glasgow, linking between M74, M8 and M80. The D3M southern section between M74 and M8 is currently extremely busy with traffic interchanging between the three motorways, and suffers problems caused by traffic needing to weave between lanes. The section north of the M8 is D2M.
The M73 is unusually numbered for a Scottish motorway as it is not particularly close to the same-numbered A road. It is much shorter than the A73 and serves fewer intermediate towns. However, the two are (very) roughly parallel and both connect the M74 to the M80/A80 via the M8/A8.
For almost 40 years the M73 ended at a temporary fork junction with the A80. In 2011, as part of the M80 completion project, the M73 was diverted and extended eastward at its northern end, partly along what had been the line of the A80, to end at a new fork junction with the M80.
Junction 2A, Gartcosh, was built circa 1999.
When the M8 completion scheme goes ahead, then under associated proposals the M73 is due to be widened to D4M between its junctions with the M74 and M8. The possibility is also being kept open of future free-flow links from the northbound M73 to the eastbound M8 and from the westbound M8 to the southbound M73.