M73 Maryville - Mollinsburn

Whereabouts is this one then?

Well, perhaps not surprisingly, it's in Scotland. Specifically, it passes to the east of Glasgow.

Can you show me that on a map?

No problem!

What's pathetic about it?

That's for you to decide...

What do you mean by that?

Well, in one respect, it's one of the most important motorways in Scotland. On the other hand, it's also one of the least.

You're talking in riddles!

Yes, I rather suppose I am.

Well, let's look at the superficially less important facts about this road. It goes from, well, nowhere to nowhere, via nowhere much. Almost no-one uses the M73 to actually get to where they're going - it's really only people who work at the small industrial estates at Junction 2A, or the nearby sprawling metropolii of Gartcosh (population 952) and the positively huge Muirhead (population 1,389).

Similar to England's M26 and M49, it's nothing more than a glorified sliproad.

It even makes a mockery of the Scottish motorway numbering rules - the A73 is nowhere near and doesn't do the same job - but it's kind of in the same general direction. Nowadays "M752" would be more appropriate - but that wasn't the case when the motorway was built. The modern A752 was part of the B757 then - and the Scottish numbering rules don't allow for motorways to replace B roads...

You make it sound as if it's completely pointless.

Ah, but despite the above, nothing could be further from the truth.

It's right up there with the M8 and M74 as the most important motorways in Scotland.

Whilst the M73 in its own right doesn't serve anywhere, its three remaining junctions (other than 2A) link up three of Scotland's most important routes: the M74 south towards England, the M8 to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the M80 to Stirling and beyond.

It's so important that any motorist travelling from England to Glasgow and the Highlands will probably have used the M73 - even if it's only a short part of the motorway. It's the link that connects up all the routes and allows relatively easy travel bypassing both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I can't emphasise how important this little motorway is - so here's to the M73!

Can I see some photos now?

Well, go on then!

Can I comment on this motorway?

Of course! Contact me and I'll put them here!

Have any other visitors commented?

Gavin Spence disagrees with me! [Oct 08]

Actually the M73 does follow the route of the A73.... The A73 goes from Abingdon to Condorrat. It links the M74 to the A80. Just like the M73 that links the M74 to the A80. The A73 intersects the A8 at Newhouse. The M73 intersects the M8 at Bargeddie. So I have to disagree with you about this route not being linked to the A73. 

As does Andy Dick [Oct 08]:

The M73 - "a glorified sliproad, or one of the most important routes in Scotland?". I think clicking on the 'Present Day Map' link answers that. The M74 links Glasgow to England, the A80 links Glasgow to most of Scotland, and the M73 joins the two.

Take away the M73, and look at what roads are left. Can you imagine the state of Glasgow's roads (and the already overcrowded A725) if they had to cope with all that in addition to its existing traffic? West Central Scotland would become the world's biggest car park.

And Steve Saul too! [Oct 08]:

Whilst I do agree that it is an overgrown slip road rather like the M26 and M49 its status as pathetic I feel is a little unfair. After all the M73 forms part of the longest free-flowing journey in the UK (between Carland Cross and Dunblane).

David Gartside almost waxes lyrical about the M73 [Oct 08]:

Don't be so hasty to condemn it!

It's a worthy foot-soldier in the motorway pantheon. It'll never be famous, it has no powerful friends, it isn't glamorous but we'd all miss it if it wasn't there. It connects Scotland [South of Glasgow] with Scotland [North of Glasgow] without being a drama queen.
If - as has happened to me - you ever arrive on its doorstep and find it's having a night off and is closed because of major roadworks, you end up going through very tortuous backwaters, not all of which appear desperately user friendly at 2am.

Does anybody know I'm here?
Do I know where I am?
Oh gosh I wish I'd filled up at Hamilton or Abington?
How long before it starts getting light?
I really should have paid more attention to that diversion sign - am I following Gartcosh, Gathamlock, or Gartsherrie? 

Come back M73 - all is forgiven - you really are very beautiful without your glasses.........    


Maryville - Mollinsburn




6 miles

10 km





Map Links:

Might Have Been Map

Present Day Map

On other websites:

CBRD Motorway Database: M73

The Motorway Archive: M73