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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
New 132m motorway link is opened
Old A77 route
The old A77 has now been upgraded into a motorway
A massive roads project which aims to alleviate traffic problems around Glasgow has been officially opened.

It is hoped the new 132m M77 extension and Glasgow Southern Orbital (GSO) project will also save lives and boost the local economy.

The public-private partnership (PPP) scheme replaces 9.4 miles of the old A77 with motorway which is linked to East Kilbride via the 5.7-mile GSO.

First Minister Jack McConnell opened the new M77 route on Wednesday.

Over the past decade the old stretch of the A77 became a known as a notorious accident blackspot, claiming 27 lives.

'Massive impact'

The Scottish Executive said another 105 people had been seriously injured on the road.

The construction was based on a 32-year-old design. It was built by Balfour Beatty using PPP finance with the aid of the executive and East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire councils.

Opening the new stretch of dual two-lane tarmac from Malletsheugh, near Newton Mearns, to Fenwick in East Ayrshire, Mr McConnell said it would have a "massive impact" on thousands of lives.

Economic prosperity

He said: "Accidents will be prevented and lives will be saved.

"Traffic will be taken out of some of our most congested communities and Ayrshire and south-west Scotland will be opened up to greater economic prosperity.

"For all of these reasons, today is a hugely significant day."

He added that the project was the biggest of its type ever undertaken in Scotland.


SEE ALSO:
A77 speed net extended by police
31 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Green light for roads investment
31 Mar 00 |  Scotland


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