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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 07:57 GMT
Have Your Say: Tailback tales
Road congestion
A new interchange has been put in place at Auchenkilns, which had earned notoriety as one of Scotland's worst traffic hotspots.

Transport Minister Tavish Scott has hailed the new system as a boost for drivers, cutting congestion and journey times and improving safety.

We asked if you shared the minister's optimism and if you were driven to distraction on other stretches of Scotland's roads.


The following represented the balance of opinions received.

A lot of the problems would be solved by people actually obeying the Highway Code. The lane discipline of some drivers is horrendous. Please stay to the left lane unless overtaking, the middle lane isn't meant for cruising at 50mph! Overtaking on the left might provide a solution but I don't think many drivers are paying enough attention to what is going on around them for this to be safe.
Alan H, Glasgow

Enjoy the new road while you can. It will not be long before that fills up with more cars and it is heavily congested - same philosophy with the M74 extension. More roads is not the long-term solution to traffic congestion and volumes - and don't leave it to others to change!
David, Bearsden

Is it not more environmentally friendly to have cars moving? Stationary cars in traffic jams, even moving very slowly, are very inefficient. Therefore, improving road flow is not only safer but also making better use of our resources. That's why it's actually environmentally friendly to build the M74 extension and other similar roads.
John, Kilmarnock

Having lived down south for 17 years, I love going back home to Fife and the relatively uncongested roads. You should try the A34 past Oxford, the A404 Marlow bypass or (shudders) the M25 for real congestion!
Iain, Oxford

I am pleased if the improvements at Auchenkilns speed up traffic on the A80/M80 route. However there are many other places where action would help. In general it is junctions where holdups occur and money spent on junction improvement is probably a sounder investment than spending limited resources on new roads. My pet hate at the moment is the congestion on the Clydeside Expressway caused by traffic queuing to join the M8 at Anderston. This clogs up the whole road and causes long delays for traffic wanting to go through this junction to the city centre, or to Charing Cross. There is not much space here for extra lanes or other physical improvements, but changing priorities with the traffic signals or preventing traffic turning right across the Expressway at Andserston are some controversial ideas worth thinking about.
Douglas MacGregor, Glasgow

I was in holiday in Washington State last year and they have traffic laws on the road that say that if a slow moving vehicle has five or more cars/vehicles behind it, it must pull over and let the other vehicles pass. This would help relive congestion on the A9 without the need to extend the dual carridgeway parts of the road. Likewise it would also help the A82 on the western side of the country. Of course cutting the amount of lorries on the roads by improving the movement of freight on the railways might also help.
Heather Gibson, Glasgow

This is great news. There is now just one roundabout between my home in Oxford and my parents home in Dunblane (a distance of 380 miles). All my journey needs now is for the Keir roundabout to be replaced with a flyover. I would much rather use public transport to travel home, however, between the "tax" on domestic flights and the failure to offer direct access by public transport from Central Scotland to Edinburgh or Glasgow airports it is easier, cheaper and quicker to jump in the car and drive it.
Andrew, Oxford, Oxon

The A8000, between the M9 and the Forth Road Bridge, has to rank pretty high in any table-of-shame. For years, the petty squabling between local and national politicians has resulted in huge tailbacks in both directions. At least work has now started on extending the M9 spur, but that's no thanks to our elected representatives.
Ken Armstrong, Dunfermline

Much talk about the A9 and the need for dualling. The A9, Perth - Inverness is actually a well engineered road, good visiblity, never less than 0.5 miles. There are two bad points, the 40mph lorries and the bad drivers (both those who drive to fast and those you don't overtake). I have driven up and down that road more times than I would like to think, and travel it 60mph and it's a good easy drive. It is actually not that busy either compared to some of the traffic nightmares elsewhere in Scotland. If people shared cars or just decided to walk to work, school or shops. In the morning I see at least 80% of cars with only one person. It's no wonder that the roads are congested.
Allan, Edinburgh

The new dualling on the A92 Dundee - Arbroath is 40mph with about five roundabouts on a four mile stretch between Dundee and Dobbies. It takes me the same time to do those four miles as it take to do the next 10 to Arbroath. It's complete madness.
Lynda, Dundee

Traffic in Glasgow will only be resolved when the council starts charging people that live everywhere but Glasgow to drive through/to the city on week days. I live in the west end and because of the traffic arrangements, that are designed to allow better flow of traffic of those coming from outside of Glasgow, sometimes I need to wait 20 minutes just to get to a main road. If people from other areas had to pay to drive through/to Glasgow, the council would have more money to invest and it would benefit us all.
F, Glasgow, UK

The A9 north of Perth is a disgrace and highly dangerous. Who in their right mind builds three lane roads nowadays after all the deaths on the old A8 many years ago? The A9 Perth to Tain should be dual carriageway and so should the A96 from Aberdeen to Inverness. North of Dornoch the A9 should be brought up to the same standard as the present A9 from Inverness to Tain - why deny the people of the north the opportunity for free moving traffic and increased commerce. And what about the stretch of road from the Forth Bridge to the M8 - what a nightmare just because one landowner will not compromise.
Sandy Clark, Thurso

Having to make the journey to Fife on a daily basis, the Auchenkilns roundabout has been the bane of my life! Does anyone know why they put a roundabout here in the first place? Was it to signify that you were in Cumbernauld or something? Going northbound this morning was a joy! I was able to drive at 60mph non-stop from Moodiesburn to Kincardine without slowing down and I was able to do this in just over 15 minutes. Today alone it has taken 25 minutes less to get to work! Well done all, took a bit of time but they got there in the end.

My only concern was that the traffic looked worse than it usually does going southbound. I hope that this was just a case of people getting used to the new layout. My biggest fear is that the jam has just been moved onto the M73/74 junction. If this is the case, it strengthens the case for the completion of the M80 and M74 motorways. I hope the government pushed on with plans to complete these projects as I believe that the central belt of Scotland will then have a decent motorway network which would make people's commuting a bit more bearable and give the people of central Scotland the motorway network they deserve. Frank
Frank McGovern, Stepps, Glasgow

I too noticed much longer queues than normal southbound at Auchenkilns today, presumably because there is now an un-impeded flow of traffic south. Lets hope this was just a settling glitch!
Kenny Millar, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

Worst bottle neck road in Scotland has to be the A8000 from the Forth Road Bridge to the M9 Spur. This is the reason that the bridge is so overloaded with the amount of traffic sitting on it waiting to turn left onto the A8000.
Paul McGowan, Near Dunfermline, Fife

Buy back the trains and reinvest! at present they are too expensive and unreliable. If you don't offer the average Jo decent alternatives he will keep his gas guzzler.
Jo, Aberdeen

I'm a reasonably "new" driver, having only owned a car for about three years, and already, on the A9, A96 and A90 (all which I drive reasonably regularly) I have witnessed accidents, and thankfully not been involved in any yet. I think that there are two major contributing factors in every road incident: a) the type of road that you are on and b) the other drivers that share the road. Human error is the biggest factor, which is contributed to by the state or type of road. Take for instance the A9 - yes, there are some good overtaking stretchs - but for every good one, there is at least (if not more) a bad stretch. In addition to this, all it can take is an impatient or inexperienced driver to make a mistake, which could have fatal consequences. So yes, these roads all need to be improved, but at the same time, we should all be look at how we drive, no matter whether we are in a rush or not.
Coila Watson, Montrose, Scotland

I have a seven mile commute into Glasgow city centre from the south side. By car it can take anything from 45 minutes to an hour and the bus is not much quicker. If anyone else wants to avoid this type of delay, and the accompanying stress, then I heartily recommend cycling instead. Ever since I began cycling to work five years ago, I've enjoyed better health, less stress and a longer lie in bed. It's such a pleasure to be able to cruise along, unaffected by all the tailbacks, and arrive at work refreshed, invigorated and ready for the day ahead. Oh, and it only takes me 20 minutes to ride it. Get cycling.
Calum, Glasgow

The only way to avoid the daily slog over the Forth Road Bridge is to take the train - and even that's starting to get just about as crowded. The bridge is so bad that we're now being told that as a direct result, it's worn out.
Dave Grimshaw, Dunfemline, Fife

Any improvement is welcome, I can see my regular journey to Glasgow being much faster now, however the real need is to teach the vast majority to actually drive correctly. Almost all motorway traffic jams can be traced beck to the fact most drivers consider the appropriate braking distance at 70mph to be 10 feet.
Lee Byrnes, Fife

I have been travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow for work for over three years now and I have to say it is getting worse. The amount of freight traffic during peak hours on the M8 has definitely gone up. Trucks overtaking each other at painfully slow speeds hold up traffic for long distances behind them. Roadworks, the fact that the M8 is only two lanes and the appalling recent changes to traffic management in Edinburgh add considerably to the general congestion. I say change Edinburgh back to the way it was by opening up more roads and charge freight by the mile for journeys during commuter time. That would solve the problem overnight.
Daniel Evans, Edinburgh, Scotland

I used to live in Ibrox and commute to Stepps every day, my trip consisted of a five minute walk to the Ibrox Underground to Buchanan St then a train trip from there to Stepps followed by another 10 minute walk. On the way home it was bus all the way and getting through the city centre took longer on the way home than the whole trip did in the morning. The cross-Rail link really needs to be pushed to completion.
Ed Gilchrist, Saint John, Canada (Formerly Glasgow)

I can't believe the time it has taken to build the improvements. After all it has been over two years of 30mph speed limits, diversions etc to build what is, quite frankly, a small stretch of road. This phenomenon can also be witnessed at the moment at Balloch, Loch Lomond, and on the overtaking lanes fiasco on the A9 south of Aviemore. And on completion of these fiascos, how long before roadworks are again in place? Scotland's roads were a mess, are a mess and I don't expect them to get any better with a pathetic executive and shoddy roadbuilders.
Gary McLintock, Glasgow

Having lived next to the Forth Road Bridge for the past 15 years, this for me has to be one of worst congestion hotspots in Scotland. Everything is affected by the bridge and if there is any sort of incident on it the whole of Queensferry comes to a standstill. We also now have to put up with the almost annual routine of summer weekend roadworks, which results in around 16 weekends of contra-flows on the bridge each year. This results in delays on all approaches to Queensferry of up to 2 hours. Last year it was cable inspection, the year before that it was resurfacing, and there is further work planned for 2006. There have been contra-flows every night since March for the erection of a protective canopy for painting of the towers, and these will continue until April 2006. The sooner it has to be closed down due the corrosion, the better!
Martin Gallagher, South Queensferry, UK

It's good to have finally got rid of the old roundabout, but I fear that the bottleneck has only moved to the Moodiesburn junction further up the motorway. My journey time was exactly the same today!
David Brown, Alloa, Clackmannanshire

Enjoy the freeflowing traffic at Auchenkilns while it lasts! It probably won't be long before the route again is subject to years of roadworks and closures whilst they drive a motorway through the middle of Cumbernauld.
Yvonne, Cumbernauld

In south west Scotland we have one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland in the form of the A77. It runs through a town called Maybole, which has a ridiculously narrow high street. This high street is extremely unpleasant as HGVs and the rest of the Northern Ireland ferry traffic on the A77 share the street with pedestrians, who have narrow (and dangerous) footpaths. This town is in urgent need of a bypass, for both safety and congestion reasons. The A77 south of Ayr in general is in urgent need of upgrade, farm traffic and HGVs slow the rest of the traffic down, and there are no safe overtaking oppertunites. This results in stupid overtaking leading to accidents and fatalities, as well as congestion. It would be nice to see some money spent on making this road safer for users.
Gordon Lawrence, Girvan, Scotland

It will change little as long as there are the "outside lane hogs" who have become so prevalent on our roads. There are major hold-ups at the M73 junction due to those hogs sticking in the outside lane until the last minute and then trying to cross to join the M73. A lot of people on Scotland's motorways seriously need a refresher course in driving. Driver education is what's needed.
Andy, Scotland

What drives me mad, living where I do, is the fact that the A9 from Perth to Inverness has not been made at least dual carriageway all the way by now. The cause of most of the accidents on this road happen because drivers get fed up sitting behind slow vehicles that they can't safely pass, so eventually they pass when it's not safe to do so. It is the major route north in Scotland to Inverness and beyond. North of Inverness they have spent some money upgrading Navidale, but this is only a blade of grass in a field. The road to Latheron requires total upgrading, straightening and a bridge over Berriedale, instead of an escape lane in case your brakes fail on the 13% slope. Yet they are now wasting more money in the capital to undo traffic measures that some daft committee dreamt up, and turned out to be useless. Listen to the people who use the roads, and let's stop deaths on the A9.
Douglas Campbell, Watten, Caithness, Scotland

It's great to see this has finally opened, but what¿s the story with these stupid speed limits that seem all the rage these days? This new high speed grade separated junction is now complete, with a permanent 50mph limit imposed on it. On a similar note, the new A92 dual carriageway, from Dundee to Arbroath, has a 40mph limit for the first few miles. Madness
Martin, Edinburgh

The A77 Whitletts roundabout at Ayr, the M77/M8 merge to Kingston Bridge, the M8 through Glasgow, the M74/A725 junction, all create serious delays. All are the result of decades of procrastination, a gross lack of infrastructure investment, spineless politicians pandering to the vocal (minority) anti-roads lobby, misdirected public spending. These factors are all now coming to bite the nation and in particular the motorist, hard. Maybe the electorate gets what it deserves ?
Peter Barker, Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland

The new junction is all well and good but the A80 is still only a two-lane carriageway with no hard-shoulder and any slight problem causes major holdups. As a local resident I'm amazed at the money being spent when the rest of the road cannot support the traffic volumes.
Paul, Cumbernauld, N. Lanarks

Can't see the improvements at Auchenkilns cutting journey times much. The biggest problem we have is incomplete roadworking, like the big hole at Rawyards in Airdrie. Been like that for well over a week, yet no-one is working on it. Additionally on a frosty morning, you can tell that you are approaching Airdrie as the gritting levels are much poorer. Is this a North Lanarkshire thing? Cumbernauld was always well gritted till North Lanarkshire took over that responsibility
AMcR, Stirling UK

Upgrade all Scotlands 'motorways' to three lanes. Build a link between the M74 and the M77. Build another bridge over the Clyde in Glasgow. Open up unused railway routes to HGV and PSVs.
Bob, UK

As someone that regularly uses both the A9 and A96, I feel that the upgrading of both these roads to dual carriageway is long overdue. The recent improvements to the A9, although welcome, do very little to reduce the lengthy queues stuck behind slow moving lorries, and the problem can be worse on the A96 where queues behind tractors and lorries can regularly build up to be as long as a couple of miles with little or no opportunity to overtake due to the volume of opposing traffic. Inverness desperately needs dual carriegeway to link it to both Perth and Aberdeen.
John Macdonald, Inverness, Scotland

The Clyde Tunnel is an absolute nightmare at times! When really congested it can take up to 10 minutes to pass through it. Recently the Erskine Bridge was closed which meant more traffic for the Clyde Tunnel. I think another bridge or tunnel should be considered to ease traffic and ease my daily agony.
Derek Wark, Glasgow

Without a doubt the worst area for congestion in the west of Scotland is the M8 at rush hour. Every time we read the newspaper we see another protest letter regarding the M74 extension plans. Sure the proposed extension will affect many people, but the fact that we must drive through the centre of Glasgow, whereas most other cities have a circular bypass route, shows the need for this extension to be built ASAP. The crumbling Kingston Bridge and the decade-long (so far) piece-by-piece reconstruction of it, due to congestion, shows the need for the M74 Extension.
Fraser Campbell, Glasgow

Working in Glasgow and until recently living near Falkirk, I have travelled the length of the A80 more times than I care to remember. Losing Auchinkilns is great. Now we just need to widen the busy road to three lanes, lose the traffic lights at Moodiesburn and Crowwood, lose the roundabout at Crowwood, and increase the speed limit to 70 like any normal road. What's that, they've put a 50 limit at Auchinkilns too? Typical. Bring in measures to speed up the traffic flow, then slap in a pointless speed limit. Nice try, but could do MUCH better.
Krys Kujawa, Linwood, Scotland

I live on the west side of Glasgow and work on the east. That means I have to allow 90 minutes for a 20 mile journey - all because of the Kingston Bridge. Public transport would take even longer because the government have been dragging their feet over a Glasgow cross-rail link for years. Transport in this country is a joke. The roads are choc-a-bloc and there's very little in the way of a suitable public transport alternative.
Brian, Paisley, UK

When are they going to make the A9 From Perth to Inverness and the A96 from Inverness to Aberdeen dual carraigeway. They must be the worst roads to drive on in Scotland and are also supposed to be main trunk roads. They are a nightmare!
Jim Sim, Forres, Moray

Auchenkilns and the central belt get all that is needed - forget the rest of Scotland. We in Aberdeen have been stuck with a ridiculously overstretched ring road for years and we are still waiting for a peripheral route. It would be nice to be considered instead of the central belt for a change but pigs might fly!
James McAdam, Aberdeen

On motorway exits the inside lane should be double-lined half mile before exit to prevent vehicles coming from lanes two and if very lucky in Scotland - lane three. Same with joining a motorway or dual-carriageway the inside lane again should be doubled-lined to prevent newly-joining vehicles from coming directly out to 2nd or 3rd lanes.

The access from Cumbernauld Road onto M8 at Provan area should also be lined to prevent selfish drivers from driving down the exit stretch and then 'push' their way into traffic stream. If drivers were more traffic- conscious then delays would be much less and traffic flow better.
Jack Rivett, Perth




SEE ALSO:
Auchenkilns becomes roadwork free
21 Nov 05 |  Scotland
A80 reopened after repairs made
19 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Motorists face A80 disruption
18 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Transport plans unveiled
22 Jan 03 |  Scotland


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