£127 million link up is just for starters in regeneration area

Plans for new roads and improvements to open up access to the Ravenscraig regeneration site will be up for consideration by councillors this month.

The Enterprise and Growth Committee will hear an update on the design and construction of the £127.2 million Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure project.

The high-scale project provides new and improved transport infrastructure to connect Ravenscraig north to the M8 and south to Motherwell and the M74.

It will create a new dual carriageway from the spot’s centre crossing the West Coast main line railway

There will also be a new roundabout with traffic signals at Airbles Road and Windmillhill Street, connecting to the dual carriageway.

The completion of the dualling of Airbles Road and the A723 from Ravenscraig is another key feature of the plan.

It is part of the council’s Glasgow City Region City Deal programme to connect the main motorway networks.

A council spokesperson said: “The costs of the project are supported by the Glasgow City Region City Deal, providing £61.9 million, with £65.3 million being provided from the council over six years, from 2020 to 2026.

“The first construction works will be creating the west coast main line crossing which is anticipated to take place in 2022, with construction of the new road to Ravenscraig and roundabout starting in 2023. Dualling of the A723 is planned to begin in 2023/24 and the work on Airbles Road in 2024/25.”

Meanwhile more detail has emerged of a project to build up urban woodland near and even on the defunct steelworks.

Spearheaded by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, this represents the crucial first stage towards securing approval from Scottish Forestry for a full programme of works that may encompass public access improvements and ongoing management of the woodlands to enhance its health and biodiversity

It would mark a welcome turnaround for the woods which cannot properly be accessed and are run down.

The focus will fall on an area south West of the Calder Water but the plan encompasses all woodland.

Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig Councillor, Nathan Wilson is among those pushing for the move which was subject to a public consultation event last year.

The Scottish Conservative said: “This is a very interesting development and one that is intended to improve the health and biodiversity of the woodlands on the land of the former steelworks.

“Now that the revised masterplan for the full re-development of Ravenscraig has been approved by council, let’s ensure that as part of the regeneration efforts, our woodlands are a great place for nature and for local people to enjoy.

“Indeed, as there is a huge amount of work taking place towards the revitalisation of Ravenscraig, it is only right that full consideration is given towards how the wooded areas on site can be managed going forward.”

Meanwhile in another welcome sign of high spend regeneration in Motherwell it has emerged that work has finally started on the second phase of its station in an overall investment of £14.5 million.

This phase is expected to last for sixth months

John MacDonald, ScotRail Senior Project Manager explained“We’re now entering an exciting phase of the redevelopment project as we begin work on the main station building. In the long-term, the redevelopment of Motherwell station will transform facilities for customers.”