Glasgow & West Scotland

Restrictions for £500m upgrade of M8, M73 and M74 motorways

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

Traffic restrictions are being brought in next week on some of Scotland's busiest motorways as work ramps-up on a £500m improvement scheme.

From 20 March, speed restrictions and speed cameras will be introduced where work is taking place.

The upgrade work will see the six-mile "missing link" completed on the M8 in North Lanarkshire.

Improvements to the Raith Interchange and widening of key sections of the M8, M73 and M74 are also taking place.

The work will see upgrading of the M8 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.

'Pivotal point'

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.

Graeme Reid, project sponsor for Transport Scotland, said: "We have reached a pivotal point in this three year project, involving traffic management measures which are likely to cause some disruption to road users, especially at peak times.

"The biggest challenge on a project of this scale is to keep the 100,000 vehicles that use these key routes every day moving and to ensure disruption to road users is minimised as far as is practically possible."

'Busy period'

He added: "The installation of safety cameras is a tried and tested mechanism that improves safety for both road users and the workforce during what will be an extremely busy period in terms of construction."

The first traffic restrictions and safety cameras will be brought in along the M74 northbound and southbound from J6 Hamilton to J3A Daldowie.

Three narrow lanes will be in operation to allow the construction of a new lane and hard shoulder.

Improvements at the Raith Interchange will see speed restrictions and temporary lane closures and diversions to allow excavation works to start on the construction of the A725 underpass below the existing roundabout.

The new underpass will link the Bellshill Bypass and the East Kilbride Expressway (A725) and create a new route for traffic, cutting out the heavily-congested Raith Junction.

Two lanes will remain operational in each direction across all roads during peak times, although traffic management and speed restrictions will be in place.

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