The County You Live, Work And Play
Forty Sets Of Roadworks In Hamilton
Drivers in Hamilton are being plagued with traffic problems as the town faced around 40 sets of roadworks.
Neighbouring Motherwell currently has less than a third of the number of roadworks.
With major works at the Raith Interchange already causing a headache for motorists, questions have been asked about the management of the road network in the town.
Hamilton MSP Christina McKelvie said: “A lot of the works involve utility companies such as Scottish Gas, Scottish Water, Openreach and Virgin. There are also major road works at the Raith junction and in other locations around Hamilton. It is the council’s job to ensure all of these projects are properly coordinated so as to minimise the impact upon pedestrians, public transport and motorists.”
Uddingston MSP Michael McMahon added: “Transport issues in my area are dominating my mailbag at the moment, with the frustration of local motorists increasing by the week.
“I am sure that there are valid reasons for all of the works taking place but having so many taking place at the same time raises questions about the planning of what is taking place.
“It was never the intention to have all of the motorway projects on the M8, M74 and Raith Interchange carried out at the same time but the Scottish Government had to bundle them together to make the private finance tendering process viable.
“That decision alone would have put huge pressure on our local roads network but the utilities works are clearly exacerbating the problem.
“Hopefully South Lanarkshire Council will bear this situation in mind and over time will ensure that the situation is addressed and the current difficulties reduced.”
Amongst the high impact roadworks due to get underway are works by Virgin Media due to start in Castle Street, Hamilton on February 9th and continue until February 22nd.
There is also a two-month project by the Scottish Gas Network underway on Auchincampbell Road from its junction with Kemp Street to its junction with Union Street. That work is not due to be completed until March 29th.
There are also three upcoming closures.
Openreach works are closing Fleming Way from February 6th until February 7th, and South Lanarkshire Council are closing Woodfoot Road at its junction with Sherry Drive on the same day.
The council are also closing Kemp Street between Graham Street and Quarry Street from February 8th until February 12th.
Gordon MacKay, Head of Roads and Transportation Services at the council says they are trying their best to co-ordinate roadworks in the town.
He said: “The council plays a pro-active role in co-ordinating road works between the various parties seeking access to the network.
“We are extremely mindful of the current pressures on the road network in the Hamilton area and that’s why we have in place a moratorium on any major non essential resurfacing projects on main roads until the works at Raith are complete.
“While we can seek to influence the timing of public utility works we cannot deny them access for extended periods of time. As well as the need to access their plant for planned maintenance and renewal, public utilities must also deal with emergency repairs and provide new service connections to customers.
“Again the council is obliged to allow them access for these purposes. Where necessary we can give legal directions to utilities to ensure road users are not unduly inconvenienced. This places specific obligations on utilities, such as avoiding working at peak times. These powers were used on some 120 occasions across South Lanarkshire last year. ”