Road will be closed for the rest of year
Public meeting in senior citizens’centre tonight
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.”
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