Final phase of £60m Glasgow carriageway set for approval

Phase 2 of the East End Regeneration Route opened to traffic in April 2012
Phase 2 of the East End Regeneration Route opened to traffic in April 2012

The completion of a major carriageway which will connect two of the country’s busiest stretches of motorway is to be given the go-ahead by councillors in Glasgow.

The final stages of the East End Regeneration Route (EERR), which will connect the M8/M80 and M74 with a four-carriageway link, is scheduled for completion around 2021.

Like previous stages of the road’s development, the £60 million completion section cuts through residential areas of the city’s East End, requiring a major eight-span viaduct to take it across the Glasgow to Airdrie railway line at the city’s Duke Street.

It will run for a little under one mile from just north of Celtic Park, extending to Edinburgh Road and Cumbernauld Road and connecting with Provan Road just south of the M8/M80.

It is expected the completed EERR will be a major boost to the ongoing regeneration of Glasgow’s east end, which has been saddled with some of the worst social deprivation statistics in the UK for generations.

Previous stages of the route, completed in 2010 and 2012 and connecting the M74 to the area around Celtic Park and the Emirates Arena, have unlocked huge swathes of former industrial and contaminated land for business and residential use.

The council said the area has attracted 4,500 extra jobs since the beginning of work on Phase One of the EERR and the population of the local area has increased 30 per cent over that period.

George Redmond, Glasgow City Council’s spokesman for jobs, business and investment, told The Herald: “The completion of this connection between the motorway routes will continue the regeneration, delivering jobs and economic investment to the east end.

“The previous phases of this route have already unlocked the potential of what was derelict vacant land to bring new homes and workplaces, and this final phase can do the same for the heart of the east end. Finishing the East End Regeneration Route will be a great success for the area and the city.”

As well as the viaduct, the road will pass through four junctions and require two further bridges, one each at Edinburgh Road and Cumbernauld Road, along with six major lengths of retaining walls at various locations along the route and new pedestrian links. A decision on giving the go-ahead is expected this week, with pre-works starting in the spring and construction due to commence by 2018.

A council spokesman said all issues of land ownership and administrative and legal requirements had been dealt with.

The authority expects the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Shovel Ready Funding or Council Capital Funding to fund the scheme.

The report into the EERR said that “in order to ensure the full scale of economic benefits are properly captured an independent exercise is commissioned to capture the economic benefits associated with the project, including jobs during construction and on completion, as well as any wider economic development opportunities created by better accessibility and faster journey times”.

Councillors will also release £250,000 to carry out pre-tender work, including an economic analysis.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Stuart Patrick, said: “The delivery of this final stage of the East End Regeneration Route will be the last piece in the jigsaw of important new roads in the east end.

“The transformation has been remarkable in only a very short period. Access and connectivity is the lifeblood of business, and the combination of the EERR and the M74 extension has opened up the east end to an extent that seemed unlikely just a few years back.”

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