United they stand plan

Protest strong against £21m Cathkin Re­lief route

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

I’m al­most moved to tears.

“I think we can get it stopped. We’ve got to per­suade South La­nark­shire Coun­cil to ac­tu­ally lis­ten to what the peo­ple want.

“It’s all well and good them talk­ing about growth, but this is the only green space we have got left.”

Mr McLen­nan said he was will­ing to take the fight to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment if needs be. The road will be built with money from the City Deal, which is a part­ner­ship be­tween eight lo­cal author­i­ties as well as the Scot­tish and UK Gov­ern­ments.

He said: “We have asked about that.

“We will write to all the mem­bers of the City Deal and tell them this road is not wanted and it’s not value for money.

“When you lis­ten to what the coun­cil are say­ing, it’s all gob­ble­s­peach and buzz phrases like ‘eco­nomic im­prove­ments’.

“One thing we’ve been told is that it would help the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of New­ton. What has this road got to do with New­ton?”

Many of the pro­tes­tors echoed Mr McLen­nan’s opin­ion.

Michelle Fer­gu­son (36), from Hazel­wood Gar­dens, warned the coun­cil: “To build this road would di­vide a com­mu­nity.”

“I am here to­day be­cause they are go­ing to de­stroy a park that is well used and well loved by the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“The money that is go­ing to be spent could be bet­ter used for other projects.

“To dig up this lovely area and put a road here will cause noise and air pol­lu­tion. You won’t even be able to open your win­dows in the sum­mer.”

Mar­garet Ferrier MP said the turnout had been “fan­tas­tic”.

She added: “It’s re­ally good to see such a big crowd and I hope plan­ning ac­tu­ally lis­ten to them and takes note of the ob­jec­tions.

“I don’t know whether it’s a done deal or whether it’s some­thing that can be turned around with the money be­ing di­verted to other projects.”

The lo­cal branch of the Scot­tish So­cial­ist Party called for the fi­nal de­ci­sion to rest with those who lived along­side the pro­posed route.

Spo k e s p e r s o n D av i d McCle­mont said: “Once again South La­nark­shire Coun­cil show them­selves to be un­will­ing to lis­ten to the com­mu­ni­ties they are sup­posed to serve.

“The SSP calls for a lo­cal ref­er­en­dum to set­tle this is­sue, this park be­longs to the com­mu­nity and they should de­cide what hap­pens to it.”

The road will link Cathkin By­pass with Fern­hill Road, near the junc­tions with Croft­foot Road.

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

As well as the 7.6m-wide road that will run for 1.6 kilo­me­tres, the plans sub­mit­ted last month also in­clude pro­vi­sion for light­ing, foot­ways, cy­cle­ways and drainage.

Head of Roads and Trans­porta­tion Ser­vices at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, Gor­don Mackay, said: “The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion process al­lows peo­ple to put for­ward their views on the road and they will all be con­sid­ered when the pro­posal goes to com­mit­tee.

“The pro­posed road is part of the £1.13bn Glas­gow and Clyde Val­ley City Deal, an agree­ment be­tween the UK gov­ern­ment, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and eight lo­cal author­i­ties.

“If ap­proved the road will re­duce traf­fic on lo­cal residential roads, re­duce con­ges­tion at peak times and cut car­bon emis­sions.

“There would also be sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits of this and other City Deal projects with op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther eco­nomic growth and new jobs. Public trans­port and cy­cle jour­neys would also be im­proved.”

Queu­ing up Res­i­dents of High Burn­side, Fern­hill and Blair­beth were out in force to op­pose the Cathkin Re­lief Road

Clear voice Around 200 peo­ple at­tended

the protest march

Birds Eye This aerial shot of pro­tes­tors ar­riv­ing at the event was taken by John Welsh

Sup­port The crowd show their sup­port for the op­po­si­tion group

Wheel-y good Many young­sters use the park for play

Hands up Ge­or­gia El­liott (5), with her ban­ner at the protest

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