Glasgow & West Scotland

Drivers warned delays are 'inevitable' for M74 upgrade

Aerial view of old Raith interchange Image copyright Transport Scotland
Image caption Aerial view of old Raith interchange

New contra-flow arrangements come into force on Thursday on a stretch of the M74 in Lanarkshire, with drivers being warned that delays are "inevitable".

The previous contra-flow at J5 Raith will be replaced by a new layout between J5 and Bothwell Services.

Two lanes will operate during the day, with one open at night. The on and off slip roads at J5 and Bothwell Services will also occasionally close at night.

The work is part of a £500m project to upgrade Scotland's motorway network.

Image copyright Google
Image caption A new contra-flow is being introduced on the M74 at J5 Raith

A spokesman for the Scottish Road Partnership, the contractor responsible for delivering the work, said: "These works have been scheduled to take place during the school summer holiday period when traffic volumes are traditionally lighter.

"Whilst we're doing everything we can to minimise the disruption, delays will be inevitable, so we're asking motorists to check the Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland websites for updates, to plan their journeys in advance and to look at taking an alternative route if possible."

Drivers have also been advised of a four-week closure on Kirkshaws Road near Coatbridge from Thursday, followed by a further four-weeks closure of nearby Hagmill Road.

Transport Scotland said this was necessary to allow both roads to be widened and improved.

The agency said pedestrian access to both roads would be maintained throughout the works and a free shuttle bus would provide transportation to and from North Road, to a temporary bus stop on Whifflet Street.

Signed diversions will also be in place on all approaches to provide drivers with alternative routes.

Image copyright Transport Scotland
Image caption Roads highlighted in red show the scale of the upgrade work being undertaken

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

The work will upgrade the M8, M73 and M74 near Glasgow.

It will involve improving the A8, between Baillieston and Newhouse, to motorway standard.

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.

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

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