ANY future repair works on the M8 through Glasgow should be paused to look at alternatives to the motorway running through the city centre, a city MSP has said.
Repair work on the stretch of motorway at the Woodlands viaduct, between Charing Cross and Cowcaddens, is taking place to strengthen the bridge, reducing the road by two lanes.
Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour MSP, asked the transport minister if she would consider other ways of getting traffic through the city.
He said the work has been going on for more than a year but there has been no consultation with people in the city.
Sweeney said the cost is likely to be more than £100 million, which the MSP said would be the biggest infrastructure project in the city this year.
Sweeney said: “These temporary repair works might be necessary in the short term but given our commitment to reducing climate emissions and promoting active travel can I ask the minister if she will commit today to ensuring before any new permanent works are commissioned, the Government will undertake a full public consultation exercise that examines the viability of this viaduct and looks at alternative options and international examples for how it may be replaced in the long term?”
Jenny Gilruth, transport minister, said the M8 and the viaduct were vital for serving Glasgow and the repairs are programmed to be completed in late 2024.
She added it was “complicated works” taking place and the “decision to restrict traffic lanes was taken for safety reasons”.
The minister said: "Demolishing the structure was ruled out due to the impact on local businesses."
She said "costs will remain under continuous review” adding "the overall repair estimate is not yet available".
John Mason, Shettleston SNP MSP, said: “We should be reducing car miles ... [the M8 is] absolutely essential, not for my constituents but it’s essential for business, tourism and residents."
He asked the minister if she was committed to ensuring the future of the M8 through the city.
Gilruth added: “Keeping the M8 in Glasgow operational is really vital.”
She said she was committed to working with the council on bringing about positive environmental changes.
She said money has gone to the bus partnership fund to improve public transport.
SNP councillor Angus Millar previously told the Glasgow Times he wants to look at the possibility of replacing the stretch with a boulevard or less invasive road.
He also wants to explore putting a cap over the stretch at Charing Cross.
View on Glasgow Times website here: M8 repairs 'should be paused' to look at alternatives to motorway | Glasgow Times