Con­cern swells over chaos at traf­fic lights

De­lays for driv­ers caught at Both­well Bridge site

Hamilton Advertiser - - ALL ABOUT LANARKSHIRE -

Con­cerns have been raised about con­tin­u­ing de­lays at the new Both­well Bridge traf­fic lights.

Cen­tral Scot­land MSP Mar­garet Mitchell said that on race days, prior to the traf­fic sig­nals re­plac­ing the round­about at the bridge, the traf­fic was re-di­rected around that round­about and could turn back up Both­well Road.

How­ever, now that the traf­fic sig­nals have been in­stalled there, she said the traf­fic is now redi­rected around the Raith round­about.

And she felt this merely adds to the prob­lems al­ready as­so­ci­ated with the Raith round­about in terms of its size and com­plex­ity.

Mrs Mitchell has sent sev­eral let­ters on the is­sue to dif­fer­ent of­fi­cials in a bid to re­solve the is­sue – in­clud­ing Keith Brown, the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Econ­omy, Jobs and Fair Work and South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Lind­say Free­land.

Mr Free­land re­sponded ad­vis­ing that “given the is­sues with the lights, the coun­cil has writ­ten twice to the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Trans­port Scot­land high­light­ing the im­pact these are hav­ing on the lo­cal road net­work and re­quest­ing pro­pos­als and timescales to ad­dress this mat­ter. I await a re­sponse.”

He added: “I have also raised the is­sue of di­ver­sion due to the in­stal­la­tion of the lights and re­quest­ing if any tem­po­rary mea­sure may be con­sid­ered to avoid the ex­tent of the di­ver­sion around the Raith In­ter­change. Again, I await a re­sponse.”

This fol­lows the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary ad­vis­ing that “a ‘set­tling in’ pe­riod of ap­prox­i­mately three months is re­quired to al­low driv­ers to ad­just to the new road lay­outs”.

A fur­ther letter from the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary ad­vised that “after the mon­i­tor­ing pe­riod, fur­ther as­sess­ments of the traf­fic sig­nal tim­ings has been un­der­take and ad­just­ments made dur­ing the course of Novem­ber 2017.”

How­ever, fol­low­ing the set­tling-in pe­riod, the MSP feels the sit­u­a­tion has far from im­proved. The traf­fic lights re­placed the round­about at the end of Au­gust 2017, and it was then that the MSP first wrote to the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary to raise con­cerns about sig­nif­i­cant queues of traf­fic ac­cu­mu­lat­ing along the roads lead­ing up to the junc­tion.

Mrs Mitchell said: “It is now self-ev­i­dent that the in­stal­la­tion of these lights has caused con­tin­u­ous and sub­stan­tial de­lays to com­muters’ jour­neys, par­tic­u­larly at peak times.

“This has re­sulted in longer jour­neys – not the shorter times that were promised to fol­low the im­prove­ment project.

“Un­sur­pris­ingly, those who live and work in the area are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly con­cerned and frus­trated about these de­lays, which did not oc­cur when the miniround­about was in place.

“Con­cerns are height­ened as the race sea­son ap­proaches, which will only add to the prob­lems.

“It is un­ac­cept­able that Trans­port Scot­land has not re­sponded to the coun­cil’s se­ri­ous con­cerns.

“I have there­fore writ­ten to Trans­port Scot­land to es­tab­lish why they have ig­nored these con­cerns and call­ing for ac­tion to ad­dress the is­sue.”

Gor­don Mackay, head of roads and trans­porta­tion ser­vices at the coun­cil, said: “The new traf­fic sig­nals at Both­well Road were in­stalled, and are man­aged, by Trans­port Scot­land as part of the Raith Junc­tion Im­prove­ment Works. The coun­cil is aware of on­go­ing con­cerns about the new sys­tem, and its im­pact on traf­fic, and is in reg­u­lar di­a­logue with Trans­port Scot­land on these is­sues.”

A Trans­port Scot­land spokes­woman said: “Fol­low­ing a ‘bed­ding in’ pe­riod where road users be­come ac­cus­tomed to the new road lay­out, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and Scot­tish Roads Part­ner­ship (SRP) have held dis­cus­sions to op­ti­mise the ef­fi­ciency of these traf­fic sig­nals. Sev­eral ad­just­ments have since been im­ple­mented, how­ever we have again brought these con­cerns to the at­ten­tion of SRP to re­view whether any fur­ther im­prove­ments can be made.

“There are some re­main­ing works to be com­pleted at this lo­ca­tion and SRP has ad­vised that they are in dis­cus­sion with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil re­gard­ing these. SRP will con­tact SLC when these works are near­ing com­ple­tion to dis­cuss the han­dover of the new road in­fra­struc­ture. The new traf­fic sig­nals will be­come the re­spon­si­bil­ity of SLC and al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments for spe­cial events, such as those for race days at Hamil­ton Race Course, can be in­sti­gated by SLC as ap­pro­pri­ate. For race days fall­ing in the in­ter­ven­ing pe­riod, SRP will con­sider any re­quests from SLC which can be ac­com­mo­dated within the new lay­out.”

De­lays Traf­fic on Both­well Road

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