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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Minister in road pledge
Traffic on the A77
There is no central reservation on the road
Work to improve one of "Scotland's most dangerous roads" will be completed on time, Transport Minister Nicol Stephen has said.

More than 150 people have died on the A77 in the last 20 years and there has been a long-running campaign to improve safety on a large section of the road, which has two lanes of traffic in each direction but no central reservation.

Work is now under way to upgrade the road to motorway status with the extension of the M77 in Ayrshire and Mr Stephen insists it will be completed on schedule by 2005.

Work is also starting on the nearby Glasgow Southern Orbital project, which will connect the M77 with East Kilbride and form a bypass round Eaglesham village.

Both projects are expected to cost about 130m.

The existing A77 has an alarming accident rate with a high proportion of serious and fatal accidents
Transport Minister Nicol Stephen

Last year the A77 Campaign group handed ministers a 48,000-signature petition calling for it to be improved.

The old A77 will be turned into a motorway with two lanes in each direction, a central reservation and hard shoulders.

The new stretch of motorway will extend the current M77 from Malletsheugh in East Renfrewshire to the Kilmarnock bypass at Fenwick.

'Safer environment'

Mr Stephen said: "The existing A77 has an alarming accident rate with a high proportion of serious and fatal accidents.

"The new M77 will generate considerable environmental benefits by reducing through traffic, and create a clear, safer environment for local communities."

The extension, and its associated Glasgow Southern Orbital link route, will provide a faster, more reliable, and safer route to and from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and south-west Scotland, he added.

The conservation village of Eaglesham is set to benefit, with predictions that 80% of the traffic that currently passes through the village will divert to the new route.

The route is also predicted to lead to lower traffic levels in Clarkston and Busby, south of Glasgow.


SEE ALSO:
Speeders caught in hundreds
28 May 03  |  Scotland
Roads projects bids invited
01 Feb 02  |  Scotland
Go ahead for roads projects
14 Jun 01  |  Scotland


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