Timeline: Glasgow's M74 extension project

The new section of the M74 is opening to traffic in Glasgow, more than 15 years after the motorway extension was given the go-ahead.

Here, we look back at the history of the £657m project.

October 1995

Planning permission granted for the M74 extension. The scheme is opposed by Joint Action Against the M74 (Jam74) - a coalition of community, environmental and sustainable transport groups. It believes the extension will cause pollution, health problems, community breakdown and won't free up traffic or bring the jobs that are promised.

June 1999

Projected costs for the upgrade are £177m.

January 2003

The estimated cost rises to £250m.

June 2003

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen orders a public inquiry into the proposed M74 extension. It comes after more than 375 objections are lodged to the proposals, with estimated costs having increased to £500m.


The inquiry ends with Public Local Inquiry Reporter Richard Hickman recommending that the project should not proceed. He concludes that it would have "potentially devastating effects on the local and wider economy". Details of the report are not made public until March 2005 when...

March 2005

The Scottish Executive formally approves the scheme. Ministers concluded that the reporter had not given enough weight to the positive aspects of the scheme as presented in evidence at the inquiry.

April 2005

It emerges that the Scottish Executive spent £41m on land along the route of the planned extension before it gave the project the go-ahead.

May 2005

Friends of the Earth Scotland and Jam74 launch an appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh against the decision to approve the project.

June 2005

It emerges that the legal challenge will delay the start of the £500m project by up to a year, with work unlikely to start until June 2007.

June 2006

Friends of the Earth Scotland and Jam74 abandon their appeal on legal advice. They say they had come to the conclusion during opening submissions that the judges did not intend to accept the grounds of the appeal.

June 2007

Glasgow business leaders demand a start to the project after it emerges work will now begin in 2008, with the project due for completion in 2011.

February 2008

Ministers give the final go-ahead to the extension with the awarding of a £445m contract. Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson approves the tender from the sole bidder, Interlink M74 - a consortium of construction companies

May 2008

Work officially starts on the controversial extension with First Minister Alex Salmond performing the ground-breaking ceremony.

June 2008

Financial watchdog Audit Scotland estimates the final bill for the motorway project will now be about £692m.

March 2009

Work on a section of the M74 extension is halted over fears that piling work has caused cracks in some subway tunnels.

July 2009

Europe's largest mobile crane lifts eight large beams into place to form a new M74 link bridge over the M8 motorway.

September 2010

It is announced that the M74 extension is to open in June 2011 - nine months ahead of the revised schedule.

28 June 2011

The £657m project formally opens to traffic at 1900 BST. It links the end of the existing M74 at Fullarton Road, near Carmyle, with the M8 southwest of the Kingston Bridge.

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