Working for you
I missed last weekend’s protest against the Cathkin Relief Road proposals of South Lanarkshire Council.
I had hoped to attend but had to send my apologies and best wishes. I’ve been opposed to the relief road for some time, not because opposition has gained popular support but because it’s the wrong priority in so many ways.
My opposition stems from a number of factors. I dispute the need for the road.
The completion of the M74 has eased congestion significantly and I took the time to drive around the area at pinch point times to see for myself.
The council spent a great deal of time seeking to promote the use of the park – I quote their specific wording, “a park for all the communities” - which they now wish to tarmac over and destroy.
Local residents tell me the park is well used and is an important link between neighbouring communities. There are great ambitions to use the grassland ever more in the years ahead.
However instead of building on this community spirit, the council wish to bulldoze it (quite literally) and pay for the privilege. And of course there’s the clear environmental damage and the impact it will have on local communities.
Finally, and perhaps most staggeringly, there’s the cost. The cost has spiralled since it was first proposed in 2007. The South Lanarkshire share of that is likely to be £21.6m. Just think about what this cash could do to boost park and ride options or boost public transport infrastructure.
Indeed just imagine how many school buses could be saved from the Labour axe in South Lanarkshire.
That’s another issue I have been campaigning on and many communities are deeply dissatisfied over supposedly safe walking routes.
The bus axe to secondary schools goes way beyond an inconvenience to families. It also puts at risk childcare and transport arrangements so vital to families trying to juggle work and family life.
Many cannot afford commercial bus operator costs to take children to school and others have no commercial bus service, even if they could afford the cash.
Putting safety at risk as well as risking the attendance, attainment of students and piling pressure on struggling families is not the answer to balancing budgets.
Which brings us back to the wasting and squandering of public funds on the Cathkin Relief Road. Even at this 11th hour I very much hope cool heads and common sense will prevail.
I don’t doubt or underestimate the financial challenges that are about to impact on Scotland, our Scottish Government and our councils due to a UK Tory government obsessed by
I dispute the need for the road. The completion of the M74 has eased congestion significantly.
Protest Bob Doris at a previous rally