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28 May 2010

Less traffic for communities as M80 project reaches milestone

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson today saw the first section of tarmac being laid on a stretch of the new M80 motorway which will reduce traffic through several central Scotland communities by 70 per cent.Transport Minister and Hugh
O'Connor on-site

An eight kilometre section of new motorway, which is being constructed off the line of the existing road, will remove around 45,000 vehicles a day from the existing A80 between Mollinsburn and Stepps, helping communities in Moodiesburn, Chryston and Muirhead by reducing emissions and improving their quality of life.

In addition, when completed the new motorway will help reduce journey times for traffic using the main artery from the Highlands and the North East to Glasgow and the south by 30-40 per cent (up to 15 minutes) in peak periods.

Stewart Stevenson said:

“Anyone driving along the A80 between Stepps and Haggs cannot fail to notice the very significant work being undertaken to upgrade this major arterial route for the whole of the country.

“The start of the tarmac going down on the new eight kilometre section between Mollinsburn and Stepps is a major milestone in this project. People living along this section of the existing A80 can look forward next year to 45,000 fewer vehicles a day passing through their community, with the consequential improvement in the environment in these areas.

“Because we have been very careful to require our contractor to maintain two-lanes open in each direction, the peaktime congestion faced during construction is the self same congestion that makes this upgrade so vital to the economy and communities. It is why this road is so urgently needed.

“However, I am aware that the nature of some of this work, being carried out on a road that continues to carry over 76,000 vehicles a day has led to some additional disruption for motorists. I want to thank them for their patience and assure them that the contractor is taking all steps to keep any delays to a minimum as the work progresses. However the first priority must be to maintain a safe environment for both road users and road workers.

“When completed next year the £320 million M80 Stepps to Haggs project will bring improved journey times, reliability and safety for people using this busy route. It will cut journey times during peak periods, by 30 to 40 percent, saving motorists up to 15 minutes each way.”

Hugh O’Connor, HMG General Manager said:

“It is fair to say that the travelling public and local communities will be very aware of the works being undertaken to upgrade the existing ‘online’ section of the A80 to motorway standard. However very few will be aware of the works and the progress being made ‘offline’ on the new section of motorway linking Stepps to the new M73 interchange at Mollinsburn .

“This new section is progressing well and I am pleased to say that laying this first stretch of tarmac is indeed a ‘key milestone’ for the M80 team . This is another important step towards completion of the missing link in the major route between Glasgow and Stirling.”

M80 Mollinsburn – Stepps: Facts and figures
  • Traffic flows on the existing A80 between Mollinsburn and Stepps are predicted to reduce by over 70%, from around 62000 vehicles per day to 17000 vehicles per day
  • The new 8 kilometre section between Mollinsburn and Stepps includes 8 bridges and 11 culverts to carry 6 local roads and footways over the new motorway and 7 watercourses and roads under the new road
  • Excavation for this new section of road required 1,175,000 cubic metres of earth to be removed (this is enough to completely fill the bowl of the new wembley stadium), which was reused on other parts of the project or for infilling disused quarries
  • Some 131,000 tonnes of asphalt will be used in this section of the road

Stewart Stevenson
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