A warning has been issued by the Highways Agency that many cyclists are still using a section of the A74 between Land’s End and John O’Groats that’ s currently closed for safety reasons.
The section of dual carriageway north of Carlisle is being converted into an extension of the M6 motorway and, while it remains open to motor traffic, cyclists are prevented from using the road. Instead they’re being advised to use the A7 / A6071 via Longtown.
However, the Highways Agency said many cyclists are still attempting to ride there and they’ve noticed a marked increase in cyclists trying to use the A74 between Gretna and Carlisle. The Agency has sent out warnings to the Cyclists’ Touring Club and to local tourist information centres to get the message across that this section of road is off-limits.
A Highways Agency spokesman said, “There are signs for cyclists at both Junction 44 of the M6 and at the Guardsmill interchange on the A74 telling them to use the A7 through Longtown. Some cyclists are ignoring this and with the roadworks and contraflow in place there’s a really high risk of an accident.”
The £175m extension of the M6 is designed to plug the ‘Cumberland Gap’, enabling drivers to travel from Glasgow to London entirely by motorway. When works are finished in 2009 there will also be a new cycle route running alongside the currently closed section of the A74.