Below is an outline suggestion for a series of new Scottish roads on which I would welcome comments. But first, by “Motorway” I mean a major road suitable within a Scottish context of long-distance driving at relatively low densities and not the school-run of the M25.
So, e.g. the road from Inverness to Wick, being very low density, whilst having good quality junctions to avoid accidents on such a long route, may be an Irish style single main lane with a “hardshoulder” onto which people would be compelled to move to allow over-taking. The key is not big roads, but good quality straight & so fast roads with easy over-taking and a limited number of well designed junctions.
Routes are shown dotted if I’ve just connected two end points.
M702 (A702 upgrade)
Links M74 to Edinburgh & via M90 to Perth and Dundee
M92 (Glasgow – Wallace New City – Aberdeen)
(Also connections to Stirling, Perth, Inverness, Fort William?)
This heads north from the M8, crosses the m80 and then enters a tunnel under the Campsies to arrive at the upper Forth valley where it is proposed to build a new City provisionally called Wallace New City. The route then follows the bottom of the Great Highland Fault line till it joins the A90 (m) north of Forfar and thence to Aberdeen .
M7 (Scotland – Ireland – North west, Ullapool & Western Isles)
(also provides link England, Wales – Ireland)
The M7 is intended to be the first road and possibly rail crossing from Scotland to Ireland (or for the Irish from Ireland to Scotland).
The key to this link is a highly ambitious crossing taking the motorway across the islands at the entrance to the firth to the Mull of Kintyre. It then goes along the backbone of the mull down past campbelltown and then a 12 mile bridge to Northern Ireland.
M7E ( M74 – Kilmarnock, Irvine – Lochgilphead – Ireland & NW)
This section will also dramatically improve the transport links to Kilmarnock, Irvine and make Prestwick airport easily accessible.
M7S ( Ireland, Campbelltown – Lochgilphead – Central belt & NW)
The 12mile bridge will be long by British standards but not worldwide. However it will be an engineering challenge.
M7N (Ullapool – Fort William – Lochgilphead – Ireland & Central Belt)
Whilst this may look less challenging than the M7S, this route will be the first major road going to the NW of Scotland. To reduce travel time, it takes an inland route will will necessitate many major tunnels. And crossings like the Loch Linnhe crossing will be spectacular. There is no easy route to Fort William because the present road is right next to the sea and behind are the Ben Nevis range of hills. Whilst shown as motorway, the road will not be a motorway in the sense of dense traffic volumes, but instead will be built specifically as a “long distance road” providing fast and safe driving aiming to cut down the travel time from NW to central belt by many hours. For example, it should be possible to travel from Ullapool to Glasgow and back in a day (or visa versa).
A9(m) Perth – Inverness
The aim would be to straighten this road and produce a long-distance Motorway.
A9 (m?) Inverness – Orkney (possible bridge Mainland-Orkney)
This extends the A9 to Wick and Orkney
?? (New Wallace Town to Fortwilliam)
This road will make a fast link NW from Wallace town utilising the current route of the Crianlarich to Fortwilliam Railway.