Calls for four-lane road plans for Glasgow’s east end to be scrapped

Glasgow’s SNP group says there is “no question” of a four lane road cutting through the east end being progressed, after Green councillors called for the scheme to be scrapped.

Green councillors have called for the scheme to be scrapped.

Phase three of the “regeneration route” would run from the Forge shopping centre to Provan Road and was planned by the previous Labour administration, with £500,000 spent on design work.

It has stalled since then but was listed among projects which could be included in bids for UK Government funding in June this year.

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An attempt by Glasgow’s Green group to remove the £60m proposal from the list lost out in a vote, with council leader Susan Aitken saying she was “sceptical” about the project but analysis should be carried out.

Now, Green councillors are calling for the scheme to be dropped once and for all, and have launched a petition to gather support before presenting a motion at next week’s full council meeting.

They believe the failure to kill the scheme off is blocking more climate-friendly plans.

SNP councillor Allan Casey said the SNP has no plans to take the scheme forward, and has taken steps to make the city less car focused.

The Greens want the old Riddrie railway line, alongside Alexandra Park, to be transformed into a new route for walking and cycling. They also want to see investment in the “neglected” Hogarth park.

Cllr Kim Long said: “We’re in a climate emergency, but Glasgow City Council is still clinging on to a 1960s plan to build a giant flyover through the east end.

“Greens voted against the new road at every turn. We’re calling for the SNP council to get off the fence, scrap EERR3, and instead transform the old Riddrie railway line alongside Alexandra Park into a new route for walking and cycling.”

Green candidate for Dennistoun, Anthony Carroll, said: “1960s car-centric design has failed Glasgow — it’s time to move into the 21st century and tackle the climate crisis.

“We want to invest in neglected Hogarth Park instead of building a road through it, and transform the railway line from a fly-tipping magnet to a better way for people to get to the Forge, the new Parkhead Health Hub and beyond.”

Cllr Casey, who represents Dennistoun, said the SNP group opposed plans for the road before the election in 2017, adding: “We continue to oppose it now, there is no question of this road being progressed.

“This city government has taken steps to rectify the car focused and poor quality urban planning of past administrations and we will continue to work with communities to create vibrant and liveable neighbourhoods for residents of this city.

“Prioritisation of walking, wheeling and cycling is an important part of that and is evidenced in the active travel networks already underway and those outlined in the recent citywide active travel network plan.”

The road was on a list of 24 projects under consideration for applications to the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund, which were set to be assessed before bids were submitted.

Council officers had put together a longlist of potential infrastructure projects and engagements sessions were held with each department, arms-length organisations and external stakeholders.

It was reduced to a shortlist of 35 projects, which were invited to submit expressions of interest, and 24 were received by the deadline.

At a meeting in June, Cllr Aitken said inclusion on the list did not mean the project would be submitted but the assessment process would show whether the scheme “doesn’t contribute to, or may detract from, our climate ambitions”.

“I don’t think it will meet any of those objectives, but we’ve never actually done that piece of work,” she said. “I think it would be very helpful to have the evidence that allows us to either rule it in or rule it out. My preference would be to rule it out.

“Without pre-empting any of that process, I suspect that it would be ruled out. Building a road through the East End is unlikely to contribute to reducing carbon emissions.”