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Shawhead Junction

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Shawhead Junction
Location Map ( geo)
M8 A8 Shawhead Junction - aerial from west.jpg
Cameraicon.png View gallery (4)
Highway Authority
Transport Scotland
Junction Type
Folded Diamond + Modified Fork
Roads Joined
M8, A8
Junctions related to the A725
Junctions related to the B7070

Shawhead Junction is a complex junction connecting the dualled A725 to the A8, and the M8, on which route it is Junction 7A. The junction has been rebuilt several times over the last 60-odd years to create a complex of three parts.

Starting at the south, the A725 Bellshill Bypass approaches from the south and is provided with freeflow sliproads connecting to the eastern arm of the M8 only. This provides a short cut from Edinburgh and the surrounding area onto the M74, via the Bellshill Bypass, and vice-versa. The slip from the M8 onto the A725 is a simple curve across the angle between the two routes, while the sliproad from the northbound A725 onto the eastbound M8 is a 270 degree curve in the opposite corner, therefore only needing to bridge over itself, and this is done as part of the mainline A725 bridge. These are the only two sliproads, with all other movements being provided for by the A8 a little to the north. Both sliproads are two-lanes wide, but the A725 onslip is hatched down to a single lane before the merge.

A short distance further north, the A725 meets a signalised crossroads, where a left turn connects to the westbound carriageway of the A8, while a right turn is the B7070, which follows the original route of the A725 through Bellshill. The A725 widens out to four lanes for queueing traffic on the approaches, including a left turn lane with a give way in each direction. The other two approaches just have two lanes for turning traffic. The A725 then crosses over the A8 and meets the third junction, a signalised T junction connecting to the eastbound carriageway of the A8. None of the above layout pre-dates 2017 when the whole complex was thoroughly rebuilt to accommodate the new M8.


The original crossroads
The original GSJ in 1966
The new junction for the Bellshiill Bypass

The original junction between the A725 and A8 was built in the late 1920s with the construction of the then-new Edinburgh and Glasgow road. This junction was a simple crossroads between two single carriageway routes, although the A8 at least may have been lined with three or four lanes at the junction. It seems most likely that the A8 retained priority. The A8 was then dualled between 1961 and 1964, with a bridge built to carry the A725 overhead. The bridge was, however, only wide enough for three narrow lanes in later years. The existing sliproads were constructed to connect the two routes together. A few years later, in 1968, the Bellshill Bypass opened. This lead to a new fork junction being built a short distance to the south (and completely destroyed by the M8 construction). The old road through the town was strangely given priority, with two lanes 'turning off' and then passing under the old road to join the new bypass when heading south. Northbound traffic was latterly controlled by signals, allowing traffic from each route in turn.

By 2009, the connection with the A8 had been further adapted. A second offslip had been constructed from the westbound A8, curving directly onto the southbound A725, much as the M8 now has. Traffic making the opposite movement was not so lucky, but the T junction on the A725 connecting to the eastbound carriageway had been converted into a roundabout. All of this was soon to change, however, and construction of the current layout was completed in 2017.


Route To Notes


Glasgow, Stirling (M73)


Bathgate, Livingston, Edinburgh


Bellshill, East Kilbride, Carlisle (M74)




Local Traffic


Glasgow, Stirling (M73) access only from itself


Edinburgh, Livingston, Bathgate


Shawhead Junction
Related Pictures
View gallery (4)
A8 westbound at Coatbridge - Geograph - 3513160.jpgM8 A8 Shawhead Junction - aerial from SW.jpgM8 A8 Shawhead Junction - aerial from west.jpgM8 A8 Shawhead Junction - aerial of north from SW.jpg
Junctions on the M8
Hermiston Gait • Newbridge • 2 Claylands • 3 Detchmont • 3A Starlaw • 4 Whitburn  • 4A Heartlands • 5 Shotts • 6 Newhouse • 6A Chapelhall • 7 Eurocentral • 7A Shawhead • 8 Baillieston • 9 Easterhouse Rd • 10 Westerhouse Rd • 11 Stepps Rd • 12 Cumbernauld Rd • 13 Provan • 14 Blochairn • 15 Townhead • 16 Dobbies Loan • Port Dundas • 17 & 18 Charing Cross • 18 & 19 Anderston • 20 West Street • 21 Seaward St • 22 Plantation Rd • 23 Dumbreck Rd • 24 Helen St • 25 Cardonald • 25A Braehead • 26 Hillington • 27 Arkleston • 28 Glasgow Airport • 28A & 29 St James' • 29A Southbar • 30 Craigton • 31 West Ferry
Junctions on the A8
West End • Drumbrae Junction • Maybury Junction • Gogar Roundabout • Airport Junction • Newbridge Roundabout • Newhouse Junction • Chapelhall Junction • Eurocentral Junction • Shawhead Junction • Bargeddie Junction • Baillieston Interchange • Swinton Roundabout • Glasgow Cross • Gorbals Crossroads • Seaward Street Interchange • Shieldhall Roundabout • Red Smiddy Roundabout • Barrangary Roundabout • Chestnut Roundabout • West Ferry Interchange • Langbank Roundabout • Woodhall Roundabout • Newark Roundabout • Comet Roundabout • Kingston Roundabout • Glen Roundabout • Cartsdyke Roundabout • Bullring Roundabout

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