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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09217: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 May 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it gave to residents in Coatbridge, Bellshill and the surrounding areas when (a) deciding not to include a direct exit from the M8 to these towns and (b) continuing to limit access for people travelling to and from these areas.

Answered by: Keith Brown 30 May 2017

The main access point to and from Coatbridge to the A8 remains unchanged at Shawhead junction. The opening of the new M8 motorway has also provided a significant reduction in traffic flow and congestion on the A8. This reduced A8 congestion and substantial improvement to Shawhead junction, which should be open in the coming weeks, will provide a benefit for those within Coatbridge accessing the trunk road network.

Significant consideration was given to the junction strategy for the new M8 during scheme development with the project designed to reduce the number of conflicting traffic movements, improving safety and journey time reliability. This results in a rationalisation of junctions with the new motorway.

Transport Scotland carried out an extensive public engagement exercise during the development stages from 2006 to 2008, to consult on the plans for undertaking the motorway improvements. A further series of public exhibitions were held at venues in October and November 2013. In addition, Public Local Inquiries were held in July 2008 for the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse scheme, and April 2009 for the M8 M73 M74 Network Improvements work to allow those affected by the projects to raise their concerns. I have included a time line of the consultation events held:

March 2006 and October 2007 publication of draft Road Orders and Environmental Statements, with public exhibitions: M8 Baillieston to Newhouse scheme;

March 2007 publication of Draft Orders and Environmental Statement , with public exhibitions: M74 Junction 5 (Raith) scheme;

March 2008 publication of Draft Orders and Environmental Statement, with public exhibitions: M8 M73 M74 Network Improvement scheme;

July 2008: Public Local Inquiry : M8 Baillieston to Newhouse scheme;

April 2009: Public Local Inquiry: M8 M73 M74 Network Improvements scheme.