Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Will Hen­shaw

The group op­pos­ing the £ 21mil­lion Cathkin Re­lief Road handed a pe­ti­tion of more than 1200 names against the pro­posal to Ruther­glen MP Mar­garet Ferrier.

The Op­po­si­tion to Cathkin Re­lief Road group had set up an on­line pe­ti­tion ask­ing any one who was against the road to put their names down. The group, made up of res­i­dents from Burn­side, Blair­beth, Cathkin, Fern­hilll and Springhall, chose the en­trance to the greenspace op­po­site the end of Cathkin By­pass for the han­dover.

The space, which is well used t h rough­out the commu n i t y , would be lost if the road is built. Last Fri­day ( May 29) they pre­sented the pe­ti­tion to MP Mar­garet Ferrier and Glas­gow list SNP Bob Doris to raise aware­ness of the amount of peo­ple against the project. The road will link Cathkin By­pass with Fern­hill Road, near the junc­tion with Croft­foot Road.

It has been in the pipe­line for over 50 years, and makes up part of the coun­cil’s lo­cal trans­port strat­egy.

We re­ported that South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, who are be­hind the pro­posal, sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the road on Fri­day, May 8. Mem­ber of the group Alan McLennan said the pe­ti­tion sent a clear mes­sage to the coun­cil: “It says that the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity don’t want this road.

“There are also peo­ple who live out­with the area who have signed the pe­ti­tion as they use this greenspace and don’t want it lost.

“Ev­ery­one we’ve spo­ken to is against the road, we haven’t spo­ken to any­one who’s in favour of it yet.

“We’re hop­ing to stop it, but ob­vi­ously it’s a coun­cil de­ci­sion. We can only put our case across as best as pos­si­ble.”

SNP MP Mar­garet said she “pledged her sup­port” for the group and didn’t think their had been “proper con­sul­ta­tion” over the road: “The group have a done a fan­tas­tic job in gath­er­ing sup­port and this space is ob­vi­ously very im­por­tant to them.

“The coun­cil has to go away and re­visit why they are putting the road in now af­ter so many years. The level of sup­port for the lo­cals are sug­gest­ing it would be a mis­take and that it wouldn’t add any value to the area.

Glas­gow MSP Bob Doris added: “I’ve looked at the pro­pos­als for the re­lief road and don’t be­lieve they stack up. Around 50 peo­ple turned out to show their op­po­si­tion to the road.

Joanne Sheils (36), from Mon­teith Place, works as a child­min­der and says the loss of the greenspace would be of detri­ment to chil­dren: “I walk through this green space with my five-year-old daugh­ter to school, I don’t re­ally want to be walk­ing her along side a busy main road.”

In re­sponse to Mar­garet Ferrier, head of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s roads and trans­porta­tion ser­vices, Gor­don Mackay, said they had car­ried out ”ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion” with re­gards the Cathkin Re­lief Road over a num­ber of years.

He pointed to the re­cent public ex­hi­bi­tion at Fern­hill Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, with 450 peo­ple at­tend­ing and 150 com­plet­ing com­ment forms, as proof: “It is some­thing that has been pro­posed since be­fore the days of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and is presently in­cluded in the cur­rent lo­cal plan and will con­tinue to be in­cluded in the soon to be adopted lo­cal devel­op­ment plan. The scheme has also been in­cluded in sim­i­lar devel­op­ment plans for many years prior to this.

“In ad­di­tion, the scheme is sup­ported within the coun­cil’s lo­cal trans­port strat­egy, first pub­lished in 2001, and more re­cently in De­cem­ber 2013

“Both the lo­cal plan and lo­cal trans­port strat­egy in­volve ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion in­clud­ing with com­mu­nity groups such as res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tions and com­mu­nity coun­cils. Coun­cil­lors and other politi­cians and other public bod­ies in­clud­ing Strath­clyde Part­ner­ship for Trans­port and neigh­bour­ing coun­cils.

“Also, the cur­rent plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion al­lows peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to make their views known on the pro­posal.”

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