Council is "committed" to Clyde Bridge project
Council leader John Ross is now trying to reassure the public that the local authority remains “committed” to the project.
In a statement issued to the Gazette, he said: “I want to assure everyone that South Lanarkshire Council is committed to the renewal of Clyde Bridge at Pettinain.
"No matter what some may claim, the council has not broken our promise on this and we have no intention of doing so.
“Yes, there have been some delays and I can fully understand local residents’ concerns and frustration about this, because believe me I share those frustrations, as do local councillors and council officers.
“But it always helps to be factual in these situations. The initial delay in progressing the bridge project was due to issues securing the land to allow construction. More recently, we have faced the same problems that are hitting construction projects across the land, in terms of the supply of materials and an unprecedented rise in costs.
“These issues are affecting many of our own capital projects and has significantly increased the cost of the Clyde Bridge project. As I say. we are not alone in experiencing these challenges.
“The council has a responsibility to ensure best value for the public pound and therefore officers are continually monitoring the situation. We hope the market will stabilise, and that costs will start to fall as manufacturers and supply chains return to normal.
“Should material costs continue at the present level then a review of costs across all our building projects will be carried out and options will be brought forward. Of course, the council has finite resources and some difficult decisions may need to be taken by councillors from all political groups
“But, again, I can reassure everyone that the administration at South Lanarkshire Council is committed to the renewal of Clyde Bridge.”
The bridge, which links Pettinain and Carstairs, has been closed since August 2018. The original budget for the project was £3.5 million but, at current prices, it would cost double that to complete.
See next week’s Gazette for local reaction, both in news and our letters page.