Re­lief Road ben­e­fits could be worth over £60m to com­mu­nity

SLC makes case for con­tro­ver­sial pro­ject

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A de­ci­sion on the con­tro­ver­sial Cathkin Re­lief Road is set to be made next Tues­day (Septem­ber 8).

Coun­cil­lors on a plan­ning com­mit­tee will vote on whether to press ahead with the £21mil­lion pro­ject which could see a car­riage­way built through a wood­land park be­tween High Burn­side, Blair­beth and Fern­hill.

The news comes as the coun­cil put their busi­ness case to their own ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee last week.

In it, they say the to­tal value of ben­e­fits of the road could ex­ceed £60m over six decades.

The case also claims the im­prove­ment to the road in­fra­struc­ture could cre­ate jobs in de­prived ar­eas.

A re­port to coun­cil­lors read: “The scheme will en­hance the lo­cal and strate­gic road net­work. Ruther­glen has had a long stand­ing prob­lem of con­ges­tion in the town cen­tre which has led to air qual­ity prob­lems in par­tic­u­lar.

“The Coun­cil has a de­sire to re­move strate­gic traf­fic from the town cen­tre and some ex­ist­ing less suit­able ra­dial routes, and re-route via an im­proved ‘strate­gic’ lo­cal net­work. The Cathkin Re­lief Road will sup­port this ob­jec­tive.”

It con­tin­ues: “The Cathkin Re­lief Road will im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity for ar­eas with high lev­els of de­pri­va­tion.

“The scheme will pro­mote ar­eas of new de­vel­op­ment, thus as­sist­ing with job cre­ation and pro­vid­ing im­proved ac­cess to the wider road and trans­port net­work and the op­por­tu­ni­ties this brings.”

In all, the coun­cil sets out six in­di­vid­ual ben­e­fits. These are: * Im­prove in­fra­struc­ture to em­ploy­ment ar­eas re­duce traf­fic im­pacts on neigh­bour­ing residential type roads * Re­duce con­ges­tion * Im­prove public trans­port re­li­a­bil­ity and bus/rail in­te­gra­tion

* En­hance ac­cess for cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans * Pro­vide en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits * Im­prove road safety. Gor­don Mackay, Head of Roads and Trans­porta­tion for South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said: “In or­der to fur­ther ap­praise the Cathkin Re­lief Road, the mod­el­ling ex­er­cise pre­vi­ously un­der­taken in 2007 as part of the STAG process was re­vis­ited in 2015.

“Traf­fic sur­veys were un­der­taken in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber 2014 to gather data to up­date the traf­fic model and en­sure it re­flects cur­rent cir­cum­stances.

“Out­put from the model in terms of traf­fic flow, jour­ney time and ve­hi­cle de­lay has al­lowed fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits to be cal­cu­lated for fu­ture years. An eco­nomic ap­praisal over 60 years has since been un­der­taken us­ing recog­nised in­dus­try prac­tice.

“This ap­praisal has com­pared the over­all ben­e­fits and costs and con­firms that the scheme de­liv­ers very good value for money. This man­i­fests it­self in a ben­e­fit to cost ra­tio for the scheme of 2.9.

“In con­ven­tional trans­port eco­nomic ap­praisal, schemes greater than two demon­strate a high value for money.”

Work on the car­riage­way could start in the spring of next year. The plans have been up­dated to in­clude a re­align­ment of the Croft­foot Road/Fern­hill Road/ Blair­beth Road junc­tions.

Clear mes­sage Mar­garet Ferrier MP is op­posed to the road

Road to nowhere Dozens turned up to protest against the road

Park life Otis Ca­likes and Rory and Heather Loudon

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