The Scottish Government has hailed the opening to full capacity of its upgraded motorway network in Central Scotland after a ‘mammoth effort’ to remove thousands of traffic cones.
Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, announced late last week that, after more than three years and half a billion pounds, all main roads connected with the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project were opened to traffic ‘in Spring 2017, as originally planned’.
A new section of the M8 opened last month
Mr Brown said that, after a mammoth effort from contractor the Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), more than 20,000 road cones were removed from the road network over a 24-hour period.
Transport Scotland said this means that the new and improved motorways across the project are now capable of operating at full capacity and paves the way for road users to enjoy the full benefits of the scheme, which include peak journey-time savings of 20 minutes on the M8 and 15 minutes at Raith Interchange.
It said other key benefits include more reliable journey times, enhanced safety and reduced emissions and described the project as ‘a real feat in logistics and challenging technical accomplishments’.
Mr Brown called the achievement ‘a momentous day for the project and for the Scottish economy’.
He said: ‘We removed the last of the traffic management so road users can experience the full benefits of the new roads connecting Main Street Scotland with a substantially improved motorway network.'
Mr Brown added: ‘We can now take the opportunity to bring forward planned maintenance activities on the network and we will combine these with essential finishing and snagging works, outwith peak traffic times, to minimise any further disruption. This work will continue until at least September.’
SRP is a consortium formed by Cintra, Amey, Meridiam and Aberdeen Asset Management.