Cathkin Re­lief Road given the green light

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

The fi­nal hur­dle has been cleared in the bid to build the con­tro­ver­sial £21mil­lion Cathkin Re­lief Road.

Fund­ing for the project has been agreed by the Glas­gow and Clyde Val­ley City Deal board, ef­fec­tively end­ing any hopes of stop­ping the road be­ing built.

Work will be­gin in the new year, with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil in­sist­ing it will ben­e­fit driv­ers.

The coun­cil claims the road will re­duce con­ges­tion and im­prove air qual­ity by tak­ing traf­fic away from other routes such as Fern­hill Road and Blair­beth Road.

How­ever, cam­paign­ers claim the road will take away a valu­able lo­cal park, would present a dan­ger to lo­cal chil­dren and will cut com­mu­ni­ties in two.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “The one-mile Cathkin by­pass will pro­vide a new mod­ern route from Mill Street to Burn­side Road aimed at cut­ting con­ges­tion and im­prov­ing air qual­ity by re­mov­ing through traf­fic from busy town cen­tre roads and other less de­sir­able routes.

“Once com­pleted the project will bring fur­ther ben­e­fits for the com­mu­nity in­clud­ing faster and more re­li­able pub­lic trans­port re­sult­ing from less con­ges­tion; bet­ter routes for cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans through im­prove­ments to the foot­path and cy­cle net­work; and ben­e­fits to road safety.

“Im­por­tantly, the project will al­low the trans­port net­work to ac­com­mo­date the ad­di­tional traf­fic as­so­ci­ated with new de­vel­op­ment ar­eas and as­sist with job cre­ation.

“It will also pro­vide im­proved ac­cess to the wider road and trans­port net­work and the op­por­tu­ni­ties this brings.”

The road, which is also backed by Glas­gow City Coun­cil, has been mooted for over 50 years, but the news it was set to be built was met with wide­spread anger from lo­cals.

Both Mar­garet Fer­rier MP and James Kelly MSP op­pose its con­struc­tion.

Alan McLen­nan, of the Op­pose the Cathkin Re­lief Road group, said this week: “It’s the same old rhetoric with no ex­pla­na­tion how th­ese ‘ben­e­fits’ will be achieved.

“I’m very dis­ap­pointed that no one is ques­tion­ing this poor use of pub­lic funds. I want to see our politi­cians scru­ti­n­is­ing th­ese pro­pos­als and seek­ing an­swers to the ques­tion ‘how?’

“I feel that this project has its own mo­men­tum and now can­not be stopped.”

But chair of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s en­ter­prise ser­vices com­mit­tee, Coun­cil­lor Chris Thomp­son said: “This road is a much needed im­prove­ment to the trans­port in­fra­struc­ture in the area and it should be re­mem­bered that it will not just ben­e­fit through traf­fic but by tak­ing many ve­hi­cles a day away from lo­cal roads in the area it will bring gen­uine ben­e­fits to the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“It will also drive for­ward eco­nomic ben­e­fits with the im­proved trans­port links sup­port­ing ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and making the area more at­trac­tive to new busi­nesses.”

Un­der the terms of the agree­ment, the city deal will pro­vide 86 per cent of the costs, with a fur­ther £ 346,500 com­ing from Glas­gow City Coun­cil.

The Cathkin Re­lief Road work will also in­clude up­grad­ing of the road junc­tions Cathkin Road/Burn­side Road/Fern­hill Road and Blair­beth Road/Mill Street/Croft­foot Road/ Fern­hill Road.

The Glas­gow and Clyde Val­ley City Deal is an agree­ment be­tween the UK Gov­ern­ment, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and eight lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across Glas­gow and the Clyde Val­ley to in­vest £1.13bil­lion in projects de­signed to bring long term ben­e­fits to the area’s econ­omy.

The coun­cil say once plans are com­pleted, full de­tails of the work to be un­der­taken and the timetable in­volved will be shared with the lo­cal com­mu­nity and widely pub­li­cised.

Op­po­si­tion Res­i­dents liv­ing near the pro­posed route are un­happy at the plans

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