M74 pro­tes­tors say ex­ten­sion will dam­age peo­ple’s health

Call for green cor­ri­dors and cy­cle lanes

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Pro­tes­tors against the M74 ex­ten­sion say soon to be re­vealed re­search will prove what they an­tic­i­pated all along - that the new road would dam­age peo­ple’s health and well­be­ing.

Su­san Martin of the Green Party spoke out af­ter the Re­former re­vealed last week that the re­sults of a three-year study into the ef­fects of the M74 will be made pub­lic this sum­mer.

Su­san said she was con­fi­dent the study would show pol­lu­tion, and its im­pact on health, is much worse in Ruther­glen.

She said: “The M74 ex­ten­sion was sold to the peo­ple of Ruther­glen on the ba­sis that it would re­duce the pol­lu­tion lev­els on Main Street. Ob­vi­ously that has not hap­pened.

“Although we don’t have com­par­a­tive fig­ures for 2010, it seems like it has in­creased and we pre­dicted that would hap­pen.”

Su­san wants to see green cor­ri­dors in­tro­duced in Ruther­glen, more cy­cle lanes built and safer ways for peo­ple to stay ac­tive out­doors in a bid to boost health and the en­vi­ron­ment.

But Ian Man­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Clyde Gate­way, said re­gen­er­a­tion projects and their as­so­ci­ated jobs would not be pos­si­ble if the ex­ten­sion was not com­pleted.

He said: “Ruther­glen Links, the new of­fice de­vel­op­ment just off Farme Cross, that would not have at­tracted a ma­jor com­pany - con­struc­tion gi­ant SPIE - into the area had it not been for the M74.

“The M74, with its Frame Cross junc­tion in par­tic­u­lar, has had a dra­matic im­pact on im­prov­ing the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of Ruther­glen.”

He added: “The point of de­vel­op­ing th­ese sites - such as Shaw­field, Ruther­glen Links and the Two74 - is to bring jobs to lo­cal peo­ple. When we talk about at­tract­ing com­pa­nies to th­ese de­vel­op­ments, that’s to open op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal peo­ple to get jobs.”

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