New M8 ‘Missing Link’ Set To Open
Keith Brown announced today a phased opening of the new M8 starting on Sunday 23 April 2017 – five days ahead of schedule.
See striking fly-through video footage of the new motorway
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said the landmark opening will complete the so-called ‘missing link’ between Glasgow and Edinburgh and upgrade the M8 with uninterrupted motorway for the first time in its history.
The westbound carriageway of the new M8 will open to traffic on Sunday 23 April, followed by the eastbound carriageway on Sunday 30 April.
Mr Brown, who made the announcement of the phased opening of the new M8 which runs from Newhouse to Baillieston during a site visit, said:
“The new M8 will be a major milestone in what is a massive transport infrastructure project and I’m pleased to say the phased opening will start five days ahead of schedule.
“We are now close to seeing the culmination of three years of construction works and half a billion pounds worth of investment to improve this vital link between Scotland’s biggest cities.
“This investment will make a tangible difference to our economy, improving business links and connectivity, as well as reducing journey times for road users who rely on this route for part of their daily commutes”
A diversion of the A8/M8 was implemented in mid-February to facilitate construction works to connect the new M8 Motorway into the existing A8/M8 carriageway at Baillieston.
These works are nearing completion allowing today’s announcement, which is a milestone for the £500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project.
Motorists are advised traffic management, including signed diversions and temporary speed restrictions, will remain in place along the A8/M8 corridor to allow completion of several junctions, including Shawhead and Eurocentral.
Graeme Reid, Transport Scotland Project Manager for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, added:
“While the full benefits of the new M8 will not be realised until completion of all junctions and project roads, commuters between Edinburgh and Glasgow should experience a vast improvement to their journeys between Newhouse and Baillieston Interchange.
“When the new M8 opens, pressure on the A8 will ease, allowing the contractor to focus on completing the upgrade of the existing A8 and linking it to the new all-purpose road, which is a continuation of the A8 at Eurocentral.
“Local road users should note that whilst access to all routes to and from the A8 will be maintained, signed diversions for traffic to Coatbridge, Airdrie, Bargeddie and Bellshill will be in place until completion of the project.
“I would urge road users to plan their journeys in advance using the Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland websites.”
The improvements, which include a new All Purpose Road between Newhouse and Baillieston separating local and strategic traffic, will increase journey reliability and reduce journey times during peak periods by up to 20 minutes.
The Scottish Government is working with Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), along with funding from the European Investment Bank and Allianz Global Investors, to deliver this vital infrastructure project linking the key arterial routes in Central Scotland. SRP is a consortium formed by Cintra, Amey, Meridiam and Aberdeen Asset Management.
SRP General Manager, Gabriel Valtueña-Ramos, said:
“SRP is proud to have delivered this major and strategic infrastructure project for Scotland in spring 2017, as originally announced. I would take this opportunity to thank both our contractor Ferrovial Lagan Joint Venture for its efforts to make this possible and also to local communities and the travelling public for their patience during the last three years”.
The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project is the first of a combined £1.7bn investment in construction being delivered this financial year by Transport Scotland on Scotland’s roads network on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
Further information on the opening of the new M8 and new diversions on the A8 and local junctions can be obtained at http://www.transport.gov.scot/m8opening
Traffic management layouts change regularly and road users are encouraged to routinely check the Transport Scotland website and the Traffic Scotland website for live updates: www.transportscotland.gov.scot and www.trafficscotland.org