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Benefits to public of new roads just days away
Keith Brown has announced the opening of the M8, M73 and M74 as part of the £500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project.
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair work said all daytime lane restrictions on the M8, M73 and M74 will be removed progressively over the coming days, freeing up capacity on the key part of Central Scotland’s motorway network.
This will allow road users to experience the benefit of the widened motorways and help deliver the full journey time savings of the new M8 motorway opened in April and the M74 Raith Underpass opened in February.
As part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, a range of improvements have been built over the last three years, including a new M8 motorway, significant improvements to Raith and Shawhead junctions as well as widening of the M8, M73 and M74, with new lanes providing an increase in motorway capacity.
Mr Brown said: “We are just a few days away from seeing the last of the lane restrictions being removed from the motorway network as originally planned.
“When this happens, Scotland’s economy will start to see the economic benefit of this half billion pound investment in the nation’s infrastructure. These huge improvements to the Central Scotland motorway network, which had been operating significantly beyond capacity, will improve connections for business and road users alike.
“This will unleash the economic benefits which lie at the heart of this project and help our economy grow in a sustainable manner.
“This will result of better journey times during peak periods, better connectivity, journey time reliability, and road safety – improving access to facilities and employment areas.”
The announcement comes less than five weeks after the new M8 motorway opened to traffic.
The final configuration of the A8 will also open in the coming days with the new A8 overbridge from Eurocentral west towards Shawhead.
This means people’s journeys in that area will change. I would urge people to familiarise themselves with the new layout by checking the route maps we have prepared. Maps are available on the Transport Scotland website www.transport.gov.scot/m8opening
The Scottish Government is working with Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), along with funding from the European Investment Bank and Allianz Global Investors, to deliver this vital infrastructure project linking the key arterial routes in Central Scotland. SRP is a consortium formed by Cintra, Amey, Meridiam and Aberdeen Asset Management.
Gabriel Valtueña-Ramos, General Manager of SRP, said: “We are proud to have delivered this major strategic infrastructure scheme for Scotland, which will bring huge benefits to the economy, as well as improved safety and reliability to road users.
We will now focus on necessary finishing and snagging works, and local road improvements which follow on from the lifting of motorway restrictions. These will have little impact on the travelling public with the vast majority of these restrictions happening outwith peak hours.
“We would like to thank the travelling public and local residents for their patience during the past three years.
“Our main contractors Ferrovial Agroman UK and Lagan Construction Group Joint Venture have worked tirelessly to deliver these new works, and Amey will operate and maintain the network for the next 30 years.
“I believe this has been an excellent example of how SRP has produced positive synergies between Cintra, Ferrovial Agroman and Amey to manage such a complex project. “