and Tracks of Ayrshire
(Ayr County Council - The Highways Committee)
REGIONAL COUNCIL TO THE PRESENT DAY
In 1974, local government in Scotland was reorganised
into two tiers. One was Regional Councils that took
over most of the functions of the County Councils and
some functions of the Burgh Councils; the other was
District Councils with responsibility for remaining
functions. Roads became a function of Strathclyde Regional
Council with a Directorate in Glasgow overseen by the
Roads and Transportation Committee, with the old counties
retained as Sub-Regions or Divisions. As this reorganisation
is too recent to be of much interest to the reader we
will deal only with major road schemes.
In 1987, improvements were made to the A71 between Moorfield
and Bellfield. This gave significant savings in journey
time by taking through traffic away from Kilmarnock
town centre and meant there was now a dual carriageway
between Kilmarnock and Irvine.
new bridges were constructed, five of which carried
the A71 over side roads, and one over the River Irvine.
Nearly half a million cubic metres of earthworks' materials
was moved when making cuttings and embankments and thousands
of tons of concrete were used. The cost was £15 million.
noted, it had been proposed to build a Cumnock Bypass
as early as the 1950's but it was not built until 1992.
It is just under 5 miles in length and bypasses Auchinleck
These two towns suffered considerable congestion before
miles farther on, a by-pass for New Cumnock had been
proposed as early as the 1950's but it was never built.
It would have started near the transport café at Pathhead
and skirted the town alongside and to the north of the
railway. Four alignments were considered for the course
east of New Cumnock. It was decided to cross the Nith
near the county boundary and join the present road some
2 km into Dumfriesshire. The bridge over the Nith would
have had three spans and been 95 metres in length. The
by-pass would have been 10.2 km in length at a cost
of £6,300,000, and would have been completed in 1990.
the same time bypasses were planned for Mauchline and
the towns in the Irvine Valley.
Government(Scotland) Act 1996
reorganisation of local government took place in 1996.
In Ayrshire three councils were formed, viz. North,
South and East Ayrshire. Whereas in Strathclyde days
there had been a department of roads the new councils
were too small to sustain this. As a result the roads'
function was incorporated with others in departments
that dealt with the wider infrastructure of the new
this reorganisation is too recent to be of much interest
to the reader but one or two points are of relevance.
One is that budgets were initially very limited and
the days when even a by-pass let alone a new road could
be considered were gone. Major projects could only be
funded by central government who had responsibility
for trunk roads but even they were limited by their
budgets to small scale improvements on the trunk roads.
the same time there was a change in government policy
to encourage a shift from motoring to cycling, walking
and public transport, and a greater emphasis on safety,
particularly of the vulnerable road user.
the funding for programmes of this type was limited
it was enough to carry out sufficient small works to
make a recognisable difference to the road environment.
Examples are cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, 20 mph
zones, speed reduction measures near schools and in
communities and enhanced facilities for bus commuters.
Funding has been made available however for an extension
of the M77 into Ayrshire and a new road that will bypass
Stevenston. The new motorway is to run from Floak Bridge
to Fenwick where
produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map
service. Images reproduced with kind permission
will join the dual carriageway. The route is close to
the A77. The road to Eaglesham will be closed to through
vehicular traffic near Ballageich Hill but it is anticipated
that it could be used as a cycle route (note: the road
is still open - 2009). A major interchange is planned
near Floak Bridge with the Glasgow Southern Orbital
that will run to East Kilbride. Both projects will be
completed in 2005.
Regional Council information leaflet
leaflet produced by Scottish Development Department
3. information leaflet
produced by Scottish Development Department 1986