M74 bridge work sparks major travel disruption

The M74 bridge before demolition
The M74 bridge before demolition

Transport Scotland has warned travellers it’s best to avoid a key area of the M74 altogether this weekend, as major delays are expected even on diversion routes.

The weekend disruption is due to the safe demolition of the Bothwellpark Road Bridge (pictured) near Hamilton, which was demolished on Saturday morning and replaced by a new bridge.

The area north of the Raith interchange is already reckoned one of the most congested junctions in Scotland.

Several bus routes were cancelled on Saturday, while Scotrail were reportedly laying on extra carriages on some Lanarkshire routes to take up the slack from motorists staying clear of the area.

Directly affected are the north and southbound carriageways between J4 Maryville and J5 Raith, which are due to reopen at 6am on Monday.

Diversion routes are signposted via the A725, M73 and A8, but with the admission that major delays are likely on all surrounding routes.

However access will still be open to motorists aiming to use the M74 southbound at J5 Raith, and the M74v northbound at J4 Maryville and JU3A Daldowie.

However there’s no access to Bothwell Services form the M74 southbound, and the next available is the M74 southbound at J11 Happendon and J13 Abington.

Transport Scotland says anyone aiming to travel east to west on the A8 should consider alternative routes via the M80, while anyone heading south should consider the A1.

You’ll find full details of diversion routes, and a traffic map of the affected area, at http://www.transport.gov.scot/m74closure