Glasgow & West Scotland

Motorway upgrade speed cameras to go live

M8 and M73 aerial Image copyright Transport Scotland
Image caption The work will upgrade the M8, M73 and M74 near Glasgow

Average speed cameras are due to be activated on one of Scotland's busiest motorways while work continues on a £500m upgrade project.

The cameras will go live on the northbound and southbound carriages of the M74 between Hamilton and the east of Glasgow from Monday.

They will remain operational until spring 2017. Similar measures will follow later on the M8, A8 and M73.

It is hoped they will help safeguard driver and worker safety.

The work will widen key parts of the motorways, upgrade a stretch of the A8 and improve the Raith Interchange.

Graeme Reid, project sponsor for Transport Scotland, said: "We know from our experience of major road infrastructure projects that safety cameras are a tried and tested approach that improves safety for both road users and the adjacent construction workforce during what will be an extremely busy period in terms of construction.

"Not only do the cameras create a safer environment for all concerned, they can also help improve the flow of traffic through the works."

The motorway improvements project began in February 2014 and is scheduled for completion in spring 2017.

The work will see upgrading of the M8 between Baillieston and Newhouse to motorway standard.

Journey times

This will require upgrades to the connections to the M73 motorway at Baillieston and a new junction at Shawhead, which will connect to the A725 East Kilbride road.

There will also be new junctions at Eurocentral and Chapelhall.

Improvements to the Raith Interchange near Hamilton in Lanarkshire include realignment of the A725.

There will be an underpass for the A725 and bridges carrying the Raith roundabout.

The improvements are expected to cut journey times by up to 18 minutes for the busiest sections of the M8.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said serious consideration should be given to making the cameras permanent after the road works are completed.

He said: "We've already seen the very clear safety benefits that average speed cameras have had by helping to enforce speed limits on the A9. However, alongside other tools, average speed cameras are also a cost effective way to reduce climate emissions as well as fuel costs for motorists.

"To reduce health-threatening levels of air pollution and our meet our climate targets, the use of average speed cameras and other approaches to help reduce excessive speeds should be seriously considered on other major roads across Scotland."

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