Road will be closed for the rest of year

Pub­lic meet­ing in se­nior ci­ti­zens’cen­tre tonight

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ian Bunting

Shocked Chapelhall res­i­dents have raised con­cerns af­ter it was an­nounced a ma­jor stretch of road in the vil­lage will close in Au­gust – un­til the end of the year.

In a move which could re­sult in ma­jor dis­rup­tion for vil­lagers, busi­nesses and mo­torists, Lau­chope Street will be shut from its junc­tion with Main Street to no. 21, to al­low for work to in­crease ca­pac­ity at the junc­tion and pro­vide bet­ter traf­fic move­ment – for ap­prox­i­mately 20 weeks – start­ing in Au­gust.

A signed diver­sion route will be in place via Main Street, the A73 Bell­side Road, Lan­caster Av­enue and the B799 Lau­chope Street.

A pub­lic meet­ing will be held in Chapelhall’s se­nior ci­ti­zens’ cen­tre tonight ( Wed) to give vil­lagers the chance to have their say on the mat­ter.

But Martin McKay, 52, who has lived in Chapelhall for the past 12 years, has slammed the plan.

He told the Ad­ver­tiser: “The fact the work is go­ing to take four months will cause a lot of has­sle.

“This is go­ing to take us right into the heart of the win­ter and it’s a long time for such a busy road to be shut.

“It’s go­ing to be very hard to get in and out of the vil­lage. I can only hope that the coun­cil has plans in place to make sure mo­torists can travel with the min­i­mum of dis­rup­tion.

“It’s meant to ben­e­fit the vil­lage in the long run. I’m not so sure it will be worth all the dis­rup­tion.”

The coun­cil say the work is re­quired be­cause of poor air qual­ity com­pounded by queu­ing traf­fic at the sig­nal-con­trolled junc­tion.

It will be car­ried out in four phases: de­mo­li­tion of the ex­ist­ing boundary walls of 14 Lau­chope Street and the garage at the cor­ner; ex­ca­va­tion for the new car­riage­way and foot­way and con­struc­tion of the new boundary wall, and car­ry­ing out prepara­tory work to min­imise the time needed by in­di­vid­ual util­ity com­pa­nies to carry out their works; util­ity com­pa­nies car­ry­ing out their works; fi­nal prepa­ra­tions of the site and sur­fac­ing to com­plete the works.

The Ad­ver­tiser’s Face­book page has been in­un­dated with scores of com­ments from con­cerned res­i­dents in the wake of the news, with Donna Camp­bell post­ing: “Great! Just when the kids are go­ing back to school! Twenty weeks seems a bit ex­ces­sive!”

Gil­lian Moore agreed: “This road is badly need­ing up­graded, how­ever clos­ing it for 20 weeks is just ridicu­lous.

“Surely it doesn’t need to be closed the whole time and why wait un­til the sum­mer hol­i­days are over to start it?

“Would make more sense to make a start when the roads are less busy dur­ing hol­i­day time.”

Paul Mar­shall added: “I don’t re­ally get how a left-turn lane is go­ing to get traf­fic mov­ing?

“Will it be a free-for-all with traf­fic com­ing down the Main Street hav­ing pri­or­ity and not let­ting any­one out of the new turn lane?

“Or will it have lights like it does cur­rently? If so, I doubt it’s go­ing to be much of an im­prove­ment.”

Wul­lie Tay­lor lamented: “Great, five min­utes to work go­ing to turn into half an hour...”

Tonight’s pub­lic meet­ing in the se­nior ci­ti­zens’ cen­tre runs from 7pm to 9pm and has been called by Air­drie South coun­cil­lor Michael Coyle.

He said: “I am in favour of get­ting this junc­tion im­proved as air pol­lu­tion has been a ma­jor prob­lem in Chapelhall for many years.

“But, it’s a dou­ble-edged sword as peo­ple want the air im­proved but have con­cerns over the work that needs done – and the time it is go­ing to take.

“I felt like I had to call for the pub­lic meet­ing as I can un­der­stand peo­ple’s con­cerns, par­tic­u­larly lo­cal busi­ness own­ers.

“They need to be given more in­for­ma­tion on how the coun­cil will be or­gan­is­ing the traf­fic dur­ing the road clo­sure.

“Hope­fully the coun­cil can find a so­lu­tion to make the traf­fic flow freely; per­haps through the in­tro­duc­tion of a con­traflow sys­tem.

“This meet­ing will give vil­lagers the chance to put their views across and get some an­swers; I’m hop­ing for a good turnout and in­vite any­one con­cerned about the road clo­sure to come along.”

Robin Jack, busi­ness man­ager of roads strat­egy and de­sign at the coun­cil, said: “The coun­cil is ar­rang­ing a Traf­fic Reg­u­la­tion Or­der for a road clo­sure at Lau­chope Street, Chapelhall.

“This clo­sure is to fa­cil­i­tate works to add an ex­tra lane at the cross­roads junc­tion at the A73. In ad­di­tion to con­struc­tion works util­ity works also re­quire to be sched­uled.

“This work will im­prove traf­fic flow at an air qual­ity man­age­ment area as it will re­duce the num­ber of ve­hi­cles queu­ing and pol­lut­ing the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

“Plans are pro­gress­ing and the lo­cal com­mu­nity will be kept fully in­formed.”

240414Chap­pel­hall_3

Lengthy clo­sure The junc­tion of Lau­chope Street and Main Street will shut for around 20 weeks

Meet­ing Coun­cil­lor Coyle wants res­i­dents to air their views tonight

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