Residents driven to start petition
Anger at road plans
Hundreds of residents in High Burnside and Fernhill have told South Lanarkshire Council they don’t want the Cathkin Relief Road.
Nearly 500 people have signed an online petition calling on the authority to reconsider their plans for the £21million project.
Around 450 residents living near the proposed route between Fernhill, to the south, and High Burnside and Blairbeth to the north, attended a consultation event at Fernhill Community Centre last Wednesday.
A Facebook Group called Those Opposed to the Cathkin Relief Road has been set up on Facebook and despite being a closed group, it has already attracted over 100 followers.
The group was set up by local women Alice Dempster, Karen Heaney and Gill Gowran.
Alice (44), this week told the Reformer the road would “100 per cent affect us”.
The management assistant lives on Laurel Walk, at the junction with Larchfield Drive, and last week helped deliver 500 leaflets to neighbouring houses urging them to attend the consultation event.
She said: “There was opposition to this road in previous years as well, so why are they trying to revisit it? We have a motorway that took traffic away from our area and we believe most of the traffic that goes through here is local traffic anyway.
“Blairbeth Road is a nightmare but it’s because of people taking their kids to school. Since they put new traffic lights in though it’s been much better .
“This is a strip of green belt and the council want to rip it up and stick a road through it. We did not choose to live beside a road.
“The council are morally wrong with this, they are going against what the people here want.
“We can’t even get our street gritted in the winter, you struggle to get out, and the council are
cutting 288 jobs and cutting £20m from their budget, yet they can find £21m for this road. I know it’s different budgets but it simply doesn’t make sense.”
Alice, who urged locals to object in writing to the plan, was also unhappy at the way the consultation event was handled:“I felt it was a bit of a shambles. I had to letter 500 homes to raise awareness, but the council only put things out via the press.”
Members of the Facebook group expressed their outrage this week.
One person wrote:“This was proposed when my parents moved here in the 60’s.
“I can’t believe they are taking the only bit of green away and I don’t think it will do much to reduce traffic.”
The issue of the Cathkin Relief Road has split the community. We ran an online poll last week with 52 per cent against the road and 48 per cent for it. Burnside Community Council have also said they will support the plans.
Head of South Lanarkshire Council’s Roads and Transportation Services, Gordon Mackay, refused to be drawn on individual issues but did respond to accusations the consultation event had been poorly publicised.
He said:“It is estimated that around 450 people attended the event on November 26 and we would like to thank everyone for their input as it will prove very useful in determining how the project develops.
“A number of matters were raised by those attending and they are currently being considered in terms of informing the design and taking the project forward.
“Details of the event were covered by several articles in the Rutherglen Reformer, local community councils were informed directly and the council took out an advert in the newspaper on November 19.
“Further details were published on the council website and via our Twitter account and we also understand that the message was spread by others on social media.“
The road has found political support.
Rutherglen South councillor, Robert Brown, said:“It is no secret that I have supported the Cathkin Relief Road over many years because I think it will relieve many local streets of traffic pressure and be to the public benefit.
“However, there are always pros and cons to any major project and I am intensely aware of the concerns of residents along parts of the line of the road.
“The road design has to work well for them if it is to go ahead.”
James Kelly MSP said:“The key to me is that any plans to put the road in place continue to reflect the impact on local people and the local economy.”
No way throughThese locals are dead set against the relief road plan