Plans for four-lane road in Glasgow’s East End scrapped

A four lane road which would have cut through Glasgow’s East End has been “formally” ruled out amid concerns over the climate crisis.

The plan was ruled out amid concerns over climate change.

But the decision was greeted with dismay by one councillor while another said trying to force people not to use cars won’t work.

The third phase of the East End ‘regeneration route’ was supposed to run from the Forge retail park to Provan Road, but has been dropped following a motion from the city’s Green group.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Glasgow’s previous Labour administration had invested £500,000 in design work on the project, however it has not progressed,

The scheme was recently included in a list of potential applications to the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund, although the SNP has insisted there were no plans to build the road.

Green councillor Kim Long called for the road plans to be cancelled and for a “new walking, wheeling and cycling route along the old Riddrie railway line”.

She said: “We are in a climate emergency and we know that transport is Scotland’s biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

“There is abundant evidence that building a new road, far from alleviating congestion, actually creates more vehicle traffic.

“It is also a way to make our communities more liveable. We’ve lived long enough with car-centric transport design in Glasgow. The M8 cuts right through my ward, creating a barrier between communities.”

The Greens also want to see investment in Hogarth Park, which the road would have cut through.

Councillor Long’s motion, presented at yesterday’s full council, was supported by the SNP, and received more votes than Labour and Conservative amendments.

SNP councillor Anna Richardson, convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “The time to rebalance our streets in favour of walking, wheeling and cycling and public transport is now.”

Yesterday, Labour councillor Frank McAveety said he was dismayed at the “absolute” position taken by the SNP and disagreed there would be no benefits to a new road.

He added: “Only a few months ago, the SNP councillors had voted down the Green motion. As far as I know, they were even exploring putting forward the East End regeneration route for levelling up funding.”

Conservative councillor Robert Connelly said there had been “a lot of improvements” from the first two phases, adding: “If introduced, the route could do the same in the other areas.”

He added: “I don’t believe making things more difficult for people who use cars, actively trying to force them away from using cars is going to work.”

SNP Councillor Allan Casey, who represents Dennistoun, added: “We have made it clear time and again that we do not support this road’s creation.”

He said the SNP had voted against the road in January 2016 and any claims his party backed the plan were “misleading.”

He said: “We have not, we do not and will not support the creation of this road. I hope that we can reach consensus on this issue today and draw a line under it.”

Councillor Long said: “While there may well have been an intention within the SNP group not to progress this project, such an intention has never been agreed or made public.

“It is very difficult to say that a road was cancelled in 2017 when that has never formally taken place, planning consent is still live and the administration position this June was sceptical, not conclusive.”

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

At the time, council leader Susan Aitken said she was “sceptical” about the plan, but it would be helpful to have “evidence that allows us to either rule it in or rule it out”.

She added: “My preference would be to rule it out.”