Transport moves forward
One of the reasons I am optimistic about the future of Shotts is the huge investment in new transport links which the Scottish Government is making in the area.
The M8 upgrade will be a great boost for Shotts, when it is completed next year.
The new investment in rail connections to and from Shotts, with the electrification of the Glasgow/ Edinburgh line, will also be of great benefit to local people and businesses in Shotts.
Already the re-opening of the new Benhar Bridge has transformed the Benhar Road approach into Shotts.
That investment has facilitated the future operation of high level trains through Shotts as well as led to a huge improvement in the road layout.
Network Rail and North Lanarkshire Council, supported by the Scottish Government, have done a first class job in bringing this part of the road network around Shotts into the 21 st century; something that was long overdue.
The next big improvement will be to the Station Road Bridge area.
This will be a challenging development given how critical this part of the town is to all who live, work and pass through Shotts.
This project will involve the closure of the road at the Station Bridge for about a year.
Unfortunately that is necessary to complete thenecessary works.
But we have to ensure that in doing this we don’t unnecessarily divide Shotts such that local people and businesses find it too difficult to get from one part of the town to another.
The community council, along with the local councillors, Neil Gray MP and myself, have made it clear to Network Rail that they must do more to provide public transport so that all parts of Shotts remain accessible for everybody whilst these works are going on.
If this doesn’t happen then many local businesses will suffer badly, pensioners and others will find it very difficult to access facilities which they badly need and the disruption will become unbearable for too many people. Network Rail are a public body. They have a duty to people. A lot of people, especially pensioners, who don’t have access to a car.
They rely on public transport to get about.
Therefore Network Rail must ensure that a regular and easily accessible bus service is available for all who need it whilst the Station Bridge road is closed.
Upgrade Already the re-opening of the new Benhar Bridge has transformed the Benhar Road approach into Shotts”.