£127m secured for new Ravenscraig transport links
Investment of £61.9 million for the Ravenscraig Infrastructure Access (RIA) project has been approved by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet.
North Lanarkshire Council is matching this with £65.3m over six years to create new and improved transport infrastructure connecting Ravenscraig north to the M8 and south to Motherwell and the M74. A total of £127.2m is therefore being invested.
The project will deliver a new roundabout with traffic signals at Airbles Road and Windmillhill Street, connecting to the dual carriageway; completion of the dualling of Airbles Road; and the dualling of the A723 from Ravenscraig to the M8.
The RIA is a key component part of the council’s Plan Lanarkshire Orbital Route, combined with investment currently underway at Motherwell Town Centre Interchange and the future East Airdrie Link Road, to create a transformational road and infrastructure travel spine through North Lanarkshire.
The Pan Lanarkshire Orbital Route will improve connectivity from Motherwell to Cumbernauld across a range of transport modes and support better movement between towns and communities. It will create an active travel highway for cyclists, runners and walkers to navigate safely across the area. These plans will impact positively on the environment and road safety locally, removing traffic congestion points in neighbouring communities, such as the A73 at Chapelhall, and helping to improve air quality.
Within the Ravenscraig site itself, the RIA is one of a number of infrastructure projects the council is working to deliver, including a new seven hectare park which is currently under construction and, working with Sustrans, plans for new cycling and walking links to Craigneuk, Wishaw and New College Lanarkshire Motherwell campus.
The regeneration of the overall Ravenscraig site is a key element of the council’s vision for the area, which will see £3.5 billion invested over the next 10 years, creating around 12,000 jobs and generating an additional £1bn for the local economy.
“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we are continuing to invest in the future of North Lanarkshire, with a clear plan for economic growth,” said Des Murray, Council chief executive.
“Ravenscraig is an important part of our long-term plan as it will bring new homes, schools, businesses, jobs and leisure facilities over the next 25 years. To achieve this, we must invest in new roads and active travel improvements, including cycle routes and public transport links - the Ravenscraig Infrastructure Access project will deliver that.
“Overall, the Pan Lanarkshire Orbital Transport Corridor will transform the way we use our transport network, encouraging healthy active travel options, creating new opportunities for development and digital infrastructure along the route, and creating potential for low carbon energy networks.
“With the funding from Glasgow City Region City Deal secured, we can now move forward with this exciting new project to transform derelict land into vibrant new communities for the people of North Lanarkshire.”
UK Government minister Iain Stewart said: “I am pleased the regeneration and transformation of Ravenscraig has reached another milestone. This project is essential to the future prosperity of the region and is a fantastic example of how the Glasgow City Region Deal is improving transport links and developing communities.
“The UK Government has now committed more than £1.5bn to City Region and Growth Deals across Scotland, creating jobs, opportunities, and sustainable growth.”
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The infrastructure created aims to meet the active travel needs of residents, alongside improving road infrastructure, to facilitate the regeneration of Ravenscraig and contribute to creating the environment for a healthy and vibrant community to thrive.
“The Scottish Government is a full partner in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, contributing £500 million over 20 years to the Infrastructure Investment Fund. This is a significant development within the Glasgow City Region Deal, demonstrating once again how Scottish Government investment supports transformative projects such as this.”
The next stage in the RIA project will be submission of a planning application for the southern connections to Motherwell and the M74, which will include a public consultation.
The first construction works on site will create the west coast main line crossing, anticipated to take place in 2022, with construction of the new road to Ravenscraig and roundabout starting in 2023. Dualling of the A723 is planned to begin in 2023/24 and the work on Airbles Road in 2024/25.