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Roads (Scotland) Act 1984; Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) (Scotland) Act 1947 M74 Special Road (Fullerton Road to West of Kingston Bridge) Orders - Report of Public Local Inquiry Into Objections




Description of proposal and setting

1.1 The M74C as proposed for consideration at the public local inquiry would consist of a 6 lane motorway approximately 5 miles long, extending from Fullarton Road on the eastern edge of the Glasgow built up area westwards to the Tradeston area to the south of the city centre and close to the south end of the Kingston Bridge (M8 motorway). The route would be within the administrative areas of the City of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Council, divided about 50/50 between them.

1.2 At the eastern end, the new scheme would link up to the existing M74 motorway (Glasgow - Carlisle), with the completion of the Fullarton Road junction to give access on and off the new section of motorway. There would be two intermediate diamond junctions along the route of the new motorway, at Cambuslang Road on the east side of Rutherglen, and at Polmadie Road, adjacent to Oatlands. At Tradeston, there would be off and on ramps linking to the local road system, and two lane east/west connections to the M8 to the south west of the Kingston Bridge. These links would give a direct connection between the new section of the M74 and the western section of the M8, serving the M77 (Kilmarnock/Ayr motorway), the southwestern suburbs of the city, Paisley, Renfrew, Glasgow Airport, the Erskine Bridge, and the settlements further downstream (Port Glasgow and Greenock).

1.3 There would be no direct motorway connections between the extended M74 and the Kingston Bridge, so that traffic wishing to enter the city centre or west end from the new motorway, or vice versa, would have to use the local road network at Tradeston (consisting mainly of a rectilinear grid of one way streets) to gain access to the Kingston Bridge by means of the existing east facing ramps, or use other nearby bridges to cross the Clyde to enter the city centre.

1.4 The route of the proposed new motorway would be generally parallel to and a little to the south of the River Clyde, which follows a meandering course in this area. Much of the central section of the new motorway (about 4 kms) would be alongside the north side of the west coast main railway line (WCML). The route would diverge from the railway line at the eastern end, to cross the River Clyde on a major new bridge near Auchenshuggle; and towards the western end, to link up with the M8. There would also be a short deviation away from the railway line at Polmadie Road, to avoid the Polmadie rail depot.

1.5 Much of the central section of the new motorway adjacent to Rutherglen, Farme Cross, Toryglen and Oatlands would be on embankments, and also on the approach to the Fullarton Road junction, while it would be in a cutting on the east side of Cathcart Road, to the north of Govanhill. The western section of the new road would be elevated on embankments, bridges, and a 600m long viaduct to cross the local road system in the vicinity of Pollokshaws Road, Eglinton Street, and West Street/Tradeston.

1.6 Apart from a short semi-rural section at the eastern end of the new motorway adjacent to the new bridge over the Clyde, the route is through a heavily urbanised area. Existing uses within the land take of the proposed road are largely industrial and storage and distribution, including a good deal of vacant and derelict land reflecting the long period that this corridor has been earmarked for the proposed new road. There is a dense pattern of relatively small older commercial properties in the Kingston/Tradeston area at the western end of the motorway, and larger newer commercial properties (much apparently dating from the development of industrial estates in the 1960s) along the central section of the route. There are now some 8 residential properties remaining within the land take. There are also limited areas of other former uses, including a local football ground at Southcroft Park (Glasgow Road, Rutherglen). The eastern section of the route, between Cambuslang and Fullarton Road, is characterised by much larger industrial or former industrial sites, and a somewhat less urban character.

1.7 Land uses adjoining the route of the proposed motorway include residential communities to the south of the route and WCML at Rutherglen, Toryglen, and Govanhill, and on the north side at Farme Cross and Oatlands. The Pollokshaws Road/Eglinton Street area is in mixed use, with significant sections of residential use close to the proposed road. Non residential uses along the motorway corridor are largely industrial/commercial towards the eastern end and along the north side of the route, and on the south side in the vicinity of Polmadie Road. Rutherglen town centre (mixed retail, local services, and community uses) lies close by to the south of the route. There are sports facilities at Toryglen (Burnhill Sports Centre) immediately to the south of the WCML and motorway route. Local impacts, including visual intrusion, community severance, noise, and air quality are covered in chapter 5 of this report (physical and community impact).

History of the project

1.8 Prior to 1996, the trunk road network for the most part did not run through cities or towns and motorways within Glasgow were the responsibility of the former Strathclyde Regional Council (SRC). In 1996, the road network was reviewed to provide the road user with a coherent and continuous system of routes and the Glasgow motorway network was trunked at that time.

1.9 Proposals for completing the M74 have evolved over a considerable period of time. Options for the extension of the motorway network around the southern side of Glasgow appeared in highway plans of the City of Glasgow in the 1960s. These plans were subsequently recognised in strategic planning, with a southern corridor emerging as the preferred link in the 1988 Strathclyde Structure Plan update (Document TRA/A/26).

1.10 In the early 1990s, a detailed alignment in the southern corridor was developed by SRC, culminating in 1995 in the grant of planning permission for the construction of the M74 Northern Extension, extending 8km from Fullarton Road, Cambuslang, to the west of Kingston Bridge. An application for renewal of this planning permission, sought by Renfrewshire Council (RC), was granted in 2001.

1.11 A proposed review of the trunk road network, published in 1994 in the Scottish Office consultation document 'Shaping the Trunk Road Network' (Document TRA/A/5), recognised the future extension of the M74 between Cambuslang and the M8 as an important proposal and recommended that its planning should pass to central government on local government reorganisation. In the publication 'Shaping the Trunk Road Network - The Government's Response' (TRA/A/5), the extension of the M74 is shown as a possible new trunk motorway. Following local government reorganisation in 1996, the scheme fell to Glasgow City Council (GCC) and South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) to progress.

1.12 A 1998 White Paper entitled "Travel Choices for Scotland" established an appraisal methodology based on 5 criteria, namely, environment, safety, economy, integration and accessibility (see Chapter 2, paragraph 2.20 for detail). An M74 scheme from Fullarton Road to Kingston Bridge was tested using this methodology, the appraisal identifying very substantial economic and accident reduction benefits. The integration and accessibility aspects were assessed as positive and significant, delivering the following benefits:

  • Benefits to urban public transport operations;
  • Improved links to air, rail, ferry and port facilities;
  • Improved public transport links from regeneration areas to employment, education, and health facilities; and
  • Removal of development constraints in Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire.

1.13 The environmental assessment produced a mixed result. In particular, the detrimental affect on listed buildings along the route and the high ratio of peak to off-peak traffic flows, suggesting there would be substantial volumes of car commuting on the route, were identified as concerns. The Scottish Executive referred the scheme back to GCC, SLC and RC for further review, addressing the concerns raised by the appraisal.

1.14 Following further discussions between the Scottish Executive, GCC, SLC and RC, the Minister for Transport in the Executive announced to the Scottish Parliament on 28 September 2000, that she had accepted, in principle, the need for a strategic road link in the M74 corridor and that she would be meeting council leaders to discuss a sensible and affordable way to undertake the scheme through a partnership with the local authorities

Partnership Agreement

1.15 In a Partnership Agreement (Document TRA/A/11), the Scottish Ministers agreed with GCC, SLC and RC, to take forward a scaled down version of both the 1995 scheme and the scheme considered in the Strategic Roads Review. The agreement was for a 3 lane motorway in each direction, with 2 new intermediate junctions and the upgrade of 2 existing junctions, following the line of the route for which planning permission was granted in 1995, with the exception of a local realignment at Polmadie to avoid the railway depot.

Legislative Framework

1.16 Under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (TRA/A/1), Scottish Ministers, as Trunk Road Authority, are responsible for reviewing the trunk road network in Scotland, managing and maintaining the network, including extending it where appropriate, and for ensuring a safe and efficient national network of roads.

1.17 The M74 is the main strategic link between west central Scotland and the motorway network in England. It runs north from the national border but currently terminates at the Fullarton Road junction near Cambuslang. The TRA has reviewed the trunk road network and considers that the gap between Fullarton Road and the M8 to the west of Kingston Bridge represents a vital missing link in the central Scotland motorway network. To provide the missing link, the TRA has prepared a Special Road Scheme under the 1984 Act to enable the construction of an 8km motorway extension, with 3 lanes in each direction and 2 intermediate full diamond junctions.

1.18 The Special Road Scheme is the subject of 3 draft Orders published by Scottish Ministers on 24 March 2003. These Orders are:-

(a) The M74 Special Road (Fullarton Road to M8 West of Kingston Bridge) Special Road and Connecting Roads Scheme 200 (Document TRA/A/2).

(b) The M74 Special Road (Fullarton Road to M8 West of Kingston Bridge) Side Roads Order 200 (Document TRA/A/3).

(c) The M74 Special Road (Fullarton Road to M8 West of Kingston Bridge) Compulsory Purchase Order 200 (Document TRA/A/4).

1.19 An Environmental Statement (Document TRA/F/1) and a Non Technical Summary of the Environmental Statement (TRA/F/2) were also published along with the draft Orders in March 2003.

Public Consultation

1.20 The M74C has been the subject of wide consultation, with major public information exercises and public exhibitions. Consultation included the following: -

a. A dedicated web-site was launched in May 2002. This web-site, which is updated as the Scheme development progresses, includes information on the scheme background and benefits, and shows the public exhibition material and a virtual reality model.

b. Leaflets explaining various aspects of the scheme and the statutory processes have also been produced (Documents TRA/A/20, TRA/A/21, TRA/A/22, TRA/A/23 and TRA/A/24) and have been widely circulated during the development of the Scheme, copies being made available at the Mitchell Library, Govanhill Library, the Royal Burgh House in Rutherglen and a number of council offices in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.

c. During the development of the Scheme proposals, public exhibitions were held on 23 to 26 September 2002 in Rutherglen, Govanhill and Pollokshields to illustrate the 'Developing Proposals' for the M74C. At these exhibitions comments were invited from the public on the developing proposals. Over 1650 people attended these exhibitions.

d. Public exhibitions were held from 25 to 29 March 2003 to illustrate the final proposal. These exhibitions coincided with the commencement of the statutory process. In addition, advertisements were placed in local streets in the vicinity of the proposed route. Over 1600 people attended these exhibitions.

e. Public Notices advertising the Special Road and Connecting Roads Scheme, the Notice of Determination and the Environmental Impact Assessment were placed in The Herald, The Evening Times, The Edinburgh Gazette and The Rutherglen Reformer in March 2003. Public Notices advertising the Compulsory Purchase Order were placed in The Herald, The Evening Times and The Rutherglen Reformer between March and April 2003. In addition, these orders were advertised in local streets in the vicinity of the proposed route.