Overview

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project represents the delivery of an ambitious project to upgrade the core of Scotland’s motorway network, to boost Scotland’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.

This major £500m Scottish Government investment aims to bring the following benefits:

  • improved journey times and journey time reliability through the Central Scotland motorway network
  • promotion of sustainable economic growth by improving access to facilities and employment areas
  • reduced emissions to improve air quality providing health improvement
  • better connectivity between Glasgow and Edinburgh and to the south
  • reduced congestion
  • improved road safety through the reduction of traffic on local roads, reducing lane changing and helping prevent weaving between lanes

The new and improved M8, M73 and M74 motorways progressively opened during spring 2017 and were fully open to traffic on Thursday 1st June 2017 and included:

  • a new motorway between Baillieston and Newhouse, completing the M8 (see more about the opening of the new M8)
  • improvements to Raith Interchange on the M74
  • a new, all-purpose A8 between Baillieston and Eurocentral
  • upgrading the existing M8 between Easterhouse and Baillieston
  • upgrading the M73 between Baillieston and Maryville that links the M8 and M74
  • upgrade of the M74 between Daldowie and Hamilton

These major improvements are shown on the map below:

Map showing M8, M73 and M74 improvements

The story of the project

Work is now underway to upgrade the core of Scotland’s motorway network, which will boost Scotland’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.

Procurement

Following the successful delivery of the M80 Stepps to Haggs motorway and the M74 Completion project, the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements project will complete the Central Scotland motorway network.

The start of the procurement process was announced in December 2011 and bidders competed for the contract throughout 2013. The successful bidder Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), a consortium with a construction joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman and Lagan, was announced in February 2014.

SRP, through consortium member Amey, are also responsible for managing, operating and maintaining this core section of the motorway network for 30 years following motorway completion.

Supporting local labour

The Motorway Improvements project will support a significant number of local labour, construction, supplier and sub-contractor jobs. SRP has signed a skills pledge to commit to this.

The project will additionally bring community benefits such as:

  • vocational training apprentice site-based placements
  • professional graduate training site-based placements
  • full-time site-based employment construction opportunities aimed specifically at job starts for those who have not been in employment for at least 25 weeks
  • training opportunities such as placements, work experience and workplace ‘taster’ opportunities aimed at young and local individuals
  • notifying job centres of site-based employment opportunities
  • contracts with subcontractors and suppliers not already allocated shall be advertised through Public Contracts Scotland procurement website
  • sustainable long-term employment opportunities during the operation and maintenance of these key routes over a 30 year period

M8 - Glasgow to Edinburgh completion

The new M8 completes the motorway link between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It will connect with the existing motorway at Baillieston and follow a route to the south of the existing A8, to Eurocentral.

Between Eurocentral and Newhouse, the A8 will be upgraded to motorway standard, and will link with the existing M8 motorway to the east of Newhouse. The existing A8 will remain between Baillieston and Eurocentral, joining with the A89 just north of Baillieston.

The creation of new local roads on either side of the new motorway between Eurocentral and Newhouse will allow easy access to the motorway and adjacent communities.

Benefits

The M8 completion will:

  • boost the economy by reducing the time to transport goods and services and creating more than 8000 jobs by 2030
  • create better connectivity between the economic centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • cut congestion by improving average vehicle speeds
  • reduce journey times, saving an average of 18 minutes in this corridor during peak hours
  • cut the journey time through Shawhead Junction by up to 20 minutes at peak periods
  • improve road safety through accident reduction
  • provide better access to businesses and communities, with better connectivity between regions
  • free up road space and developing infrastructure to support sustainable transport initiatives
  • improve links for cyclists and pedestrians

Based on current traffic volume, it is estimated that up to 100,000 vehicles a day will benefit from these improvements.

Key statistics

The upgrade of the A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse includes:

  • 2 km of online dual three-lane motorway
  • 5 km of offline dual three-lane motorway
  • 3 km of online dual two-lane motorway
  • 10 km of dual two-lane all purpose road incorporating nearly 5 km of existing A8
  • 16 km of pedestrian/cycle path
  • three new motorway junctions at Shawhead, Eurocentral and Chapelhall
  • two amended motorway junctions at Baillieston and Newhouse
  • two railway bridges, including a new Braehead (Cutty Sark) structure
  • 30 road structures, including a major crossing of the North Calder Water
  • capacity improvements on M8 Eastbound, Junction 9 to Baillieston Interchange
  • significant environmental mitigation and enhancement works

The upgrade of the existing A8 corridor between Baillieston and Newhouse will provide a dual three-lane motorway standard or equivalent.

It will also provide a strategic motorway link catering predominantly for east/west through traffic on the M8 motorway with connections via Baillieston Interchange to the M73 Motorway and a new M8 Shawhead Junction providing a link to the A725 Trunk Road.

It will include motorway junctions at Baillieston Interchange, Shawhead Junction (A725), Eurocentral Junction, Chapelhall Junction and Newhouse Junction.

Objectives

The Scottish Government has five policy objectives and the M8 improvements meets each of these, as outlined below.

Environment

Potential impacts have been identified throughout the design process and avoided or reduced, as far as practicable, through amendments to the design. Specific measures will be set in place to mitigate those impacts that are otherwise unavoidable.

Economy

Average travel times for key journeys throughout the corridor are expected to reduce by up to 18 minutes at peak periods. This will be achieved by separating motorway and local traffic and reducing conflicting movements at major interchanges.

Safety

The project will provide a higher standard alternative to the current A8 for motorway traffic. It will also improve traffic flows for local drivers.

Integration

Providing a motorway connection to Eurocentral and improving transport links across Central Scotland and beyond.

Accessibility

The completed project will improve access to the motorway network for road users, therefore improving safety and reducing congestion and frustration. There will also be almost 10 miles of new and improved pedestrian and cycle routes as part of the project, to link with existing walking and cycling routes and improve the connections between local communities, businesses and areas of employment. The new routes will be designed to be accessible to all user groups

M74 - Raith Junction improvement

Raith Junction is a roundabout linking the M74 motorway with the A725 Bellshill Bypass and East Kilbride Expressway.

The M74 is the main route for road users travelling between Glasgow and Southwest Scotland. It also provides an essential link to the M8 at Baillieston, via a mile-long stretch of the M73.

The improvement works at the Raith Interchange include a new underpass below the existing roundabout to free up traffic between the Bellshill Bypass and the East Kilbride Expressway. Three new bridges will carry the motorway and local traffic over the underpass, separating the traffic on the A725 from the M74. This underpass will release additional traffic flow capacity on the roundabout.

As part of the project, a new cycleway and walkway will be created between Bothwell and Strathclyde Country Park, improving accessibility and safety for non-motorised users.

Benefits

The junction improvements will:

  • cut congestion - currently all of the A725 traffic and the M74 traffic using this junction has to negotiate the Raith roundabout,  causing queues on to both strategic routes. The improvements will segregate the A725 through traffic, removing this significant traffic volume from the roundabout. The improvements will also support wider journey time benefits on the M8 and surrounding network
  • improve journey times by 15 to 20 minutes and improve the reliability of journey times on the A725 and M74
  • tackle the risk of congestion from traffic growth associated with key developments along the M8 and A725 corridors. The works will also improve the operation of existing business making use of the Central Scotland Trunk Road Network by reducing travel costs
  • improve local air quality and noise levels
  • support development opportunities identified in and arround the M8 and A725 corridors

Key statistics

The improvement works at Raith include:

  • realignment of the A725 over a length of 1.8 km
  • provision of an underpass structure for the A725, with one bridge carrying the M74 and two bridges carrying the Raith roundabout
  • realignment of the Raith roundabout on the south of the M74
  • provision of a new link road between the B7071 and Raith roundabout with a signalised junction at the A725 eastbound off slip
  • modifications to the M74 slip roads
  • provision of new pedestrian/cyclist links including bridges over the Raith roundabout to the north and south of the M74, a new link to the proposed National Cycle Network 74. and signalised crossing points
  • provision of an additional lane on the southbound M74 between Raith Junction (5) and Hamilton Junction (6)
  • demolition of the existing Bothwell Park Road access bridge over the M74, to the north of Raith junction, and construction of a new realigned bridge at this location
  • new private access road through Strathclyde Country Park
  • provision of a sustainable urban drainage system and flood water storage areas
  • environmental mitigation and enhancement works

Objectives

The plans for Raith Junction were designed with the Scottish Government's five policy objectives in mind.

Environment

The wetland habitat around the junction is a valuable environment and the new junction will minimise the overall impacts on the adjacent designated sites. Whilst small encroachment into the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is required, overall enhancement of the habitat is achievable by use of adjacent flood compensatory areas as additional wetland.

The new junction will have low landscape and visual impacts and low impacts on adjacent agricultural land.

Local benefits to air quality and noise levels will result from the improvements.

Economy

The junction improvements will provide a cost-effective solution to improve journey times and the reliability of journeys on the A725 and the M74. This will provide direct economic benefits to road users.

The junction will support traffic growth associated with key developments along the M8 and A725 corridors. The new junction will also improve the operation of existing businesses making use of the Central Scotland Trunk Road Network by reducing travel costs.

Safety

The new junction will reduce the potential for vehicular accidents by removing traffic from the existing roundabout and providing free-flow conditions onto the A725. It will also reduce the potential for conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists and motor vehicles.

Integration

The proposed junction will support development opportunities identified in and around the M8 and the A725 corridors. The junction will respect existing land use and complement that identified in the local plan.

Accessibility

The new junction is designed to provide free-flow traffic conditions, addressing the reasonable needs of traffic seeking to access the Central Scotland Trunk Road Network.

The new segregated walkway and cycleway will significantly improve facilities and conditions for non-motorised users. This, in turn, will provide safer connections between Bothwell and Bellshill alongside adjacent recreational routes.

Network upgrades

The network improvement works will tackle both existing and anticipated congestion problems.

A key element of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements project is a series of enhancements to the network of roads and junctions which connect to the three main routes. These works will tackle both existing and anticipated congestion:

  • on the M8 west of Baillieston Interchange
  • on the M73 between Baillieston Interchange and Maryville Interchange
  • on the M74 from west of Maryville to Hamilton Junction

The works principally consist of widening the existing carriageway by creating an additional lane at the following locations to tackle congestion at peak times:

  • eastbound carriageway of the M8 from Junction 10, Easterhouse
  • Easterhouse to Junction 8, Baillieston Interchange
  • northbound and southbound carriageways of the M73 between Baillieston Interchange and Maryville Interchange
  • northbound and southbound carriageways of the M74 from Junction 3 (Daldowie) to Junction 5 (Raith)
  • southbound carriageway of the M74 between Junction 5 (Raith) and Junction 6 (Hamilton)

The works will maintain the existing slip road arrangements through the Baillieston Interchange.

The improvement works also include the following:

  • A new slip road from the M74 Junction 3 to the northbound M73
  • modification of the two existing roundabouts at the M74 Junction 3 to a signalised junction
  • widening of four underbridges on the M74
  • demolition of the existing access bridge over the M73 to the south of Baillieston Interchange and provision of a new realigned access bridge
  • replacement of existing road drainage, including introducing a new Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) where practicable, over the extent of the project

Benefits

The improvement works will:

  • relieve traffic congestion at peak times on the M8, M73 and M74 motorway network in the vicinity of Baillieston and Maryville Interchanges
  • reduce delays for strategic traffic and allowing safe access for all users, thus providing improved journey time reliability and safety
  • reduce predicted North-South (M80-M74) delays by up to 18 minutes in the evening peak hour and predicted West East (M74-M8) delays by up to 6 minutes in the morning peak hour
  • meet the Scottish Government's policy objectives to benefit the environment, economy, safety, integration and accessibility of the roads in the region

Objectives

The improvement works satisfy the Government’s five key Transport Appraisal Objectives in respect of Environment, Economy, Safety, Integration and Accessibility.

Environment

The area encompassed by the works contains some environmentally designated land. No nationally or internationally protected sites will however be directly impacted.  Furthermore, the works include a sustainable drainage system treating runoff from areas of the existing motorway network.

Economy

The works will enable more reliable journey times, maximising the benefits of committed investment in the adjacent strategic network.

Safety

The works will provide enhanced carriageway and junction layouts; relieving congestion and improving weaving opportunities between junctions.

Integration

The works are compatible with existing planning policies for the area and provide the key to unlocking the benefits of adjacent improvements, to the Central Scotland Motorway Network.

Accessibility

The existing pedestrian and cyclist access to amenity areas and linkages to regional routes will be maintained.

Case Study - Shawhead Junction

Shawhead Junction

The operation of the roads around Shawhead Junction was a key element of the successful construction of M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project. It was amongst one of the busiest and most heavily congested junctions to be upgraded as part of the Project and also posed many significant design challenges that required to be overcome.

Situated between the communities of Whifflet and Coatbridge in the north and Bellshill and Bothwell to the south, the Shawhead Junction facilitates links via the A725 to both the local and trunk road networks.

Shawhead Junction consists of the following three junctions and slip roads connecting the various trunk roads and local roads in the area:

  • The northern junction between A725/ Kirkshaws Road/ Hagmill Road
  • The junction between the A725 / A8 eastbound slip road
  • The southern junction between A725/ North Road/ A8 westbound slip road
  • The link roads directly connecting the M8 with the A725.

The upgraded junctions and additional connections at Shawhead have:

  • Reduced journey times and queueing
  • Improved connectivity between the local and trunk road networks
  • Improved access to areas of employment, through better connectivity
  • Improved connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

They're anticipated to act as a catalyst for economic development in the area.

Layout showing the three key junctions at Shawhead and the direct link roads with the new M8

A challenging location

During the construction, keeping roads open and traffic moving on the A725 and the adjacent local road network was only one of the key challenges at this constrained location.  Our contractor also had to manage the following challenges:

  • Diversion of a significant number of major utilities in the area (including gas, power and communications cables for various companies)
  • Design and treatment of a significant extent of historic mine workings in the area
  • Reducing adverse impact and disruption during construction on residential dwellings adjacent to the works
  • Minimising impact on industrial and business land adjacent to the works
  • Visual impact from structures and embankments
  • Connectivity to local communities and businesses including consideration of Non-motorised users (NMU’s)
  • Reducing impact of the construction on adjacent landscape such as woodland and watercourses
  • Minimising habitat loss for plants and mammals
  • keeping traffic moving and roads open during construction.

Design development

Plans to upgrade the A8 to motorway standard were announced in 2003 and since then, the conceptual design for Shawhead was developed.  In 2006, the assessment report for the scheme noted that the traffic volumes on the section of the A8 around Shawhead exceeded the available capacity on the road network at peak times, leading to queuing and delays to journey times.

The junction strategy for the new motorway, which aimed to separate longer distance trunk road traffic from vehicles making local journeys, was developed as part of the assessment report. At Shawhead Junction,  the assessment recommended three signalised junctions on the A725; the most northern junction replacing the mini roundabout on Kirkshaws Road and Hagmill Road, the replacement of the roundabout at the top of the slip road from the eastbound A8 and a third signalised junction connecting the B7070, North Road with the A725 and a westbound A8 slip road.

The use of signalised junctions at each of these locations provides a more reliable form of traffic control over the three closely spaced junctions than was available with the previously.

During the design development process, extensive consultations including public exhibitions and drop-in events took place with local communities and stakeholders on the proposals for the project.

For further information on all exhibitions and drop in events undertaken as part of the initial design development stage, see our keeping communities informed page.

Design of Shawhead Junction

Our contractor’s designer has undertaken the final design for the junctions in accordance with relevant standards and guidance to:

  • minimise future delay and disruption to road users
  • meet specific performance criteria which were determined using complex traffic modelling to ensure each  junction could accommodate the predicted traffic flows through the junction, whilst at the same time providing journey time savings and reduction in queuing.

Our contractor’s designer benchmarked its traffic modelling analysis against key indicators at each junction separately to determine:

  • traffic flow rates at peak times through each junction
  • average and maximum queue lengths for each approach arm
  • journey times for specific movements.

As part of the design our contractor has equipped the three signalised junctions with smart technology to deliver:

  • reduced queuing
  • improved journey times
  • efficiently managed traffic flows for all users.

You can read more about how this technology works in our leaflet or view our information video.

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In addition, the design for the junctions at Shawhead incorporates several improvements for non-motorised users (NMUs), separating them from road traffic where possible and encouraging safe, environmentally friendly travel for both work and leisure.

This included two significant new footbridges and a network of paths for NMU’s that re-connect the communities of Bellshill and beyond to the south and Coatbridge and beyond to the north, as well as providing dedicated access to key employment areas including Strathclyde Business Park and Eurocentral.

Construction

Shawhead was a critical area to the overall project, due to its complexity and the need to keep two lanes of traffic running on the A725 throughout the construction phase. It was also a priority to keep the B7070 open, significantly reducing disruption for local traffic and for local residents.

A selection of images showing the construction taking shape at Shawhead

We are often asked

Why is there no dedicated right-turn filter lane to Kirkshaw Road or Hagmill Road from the A725?

The area of land available for the construction and final layout of Shawhead Junction was constrained by the presence of significant utilities in the area, the presence of residential properties, historic mine working and protected environmental assets as well as land designated for development. Further information can be found in the Environmental Statement for the project.

The design of the junction, to fit with the overall junction strategy for the project was carefully considered and modelled, taking into consideration the predicted future traffic as part of the design development process.

This development of the conceptual design determined that the predicted flows of traffic and journey time savings could be accommodated and the operation of the junction optimised without a dedicated right-turn filter lane, within the land available for the works, thereby avoiding negatively impacting on the environment or adjacent properties.

Since the project was opened fully to traffic in 2017, journey times through the Shawhead Junction have significantly improved and queuing on junction approaches has significantly reduced.

Occasionally A725 traffic is given priority and moves twice before Kirkshaws Road traffic gets a green light to turn right, why is this?

The traffic signals across the junctions at Shawhead are equipped with technology that simultaneously monitors traffic in real time and feeds back information to the signal controller. This signal controller also simultaneously processes the traffic data and adjusts the traffic signal timings to optimise queuing on all approaches and the efficiency for all vehicle movements through the junctions.

Given the proximity of the A725/Kirkshaws Road/Hagmill Road and the A725/A8 slip-road junctions, there is limited road space for queuing traffic between the junctions. The wireless technology at these junctions facilitates coordinated communication between both junctions and the signal controller so that the operation of both junctions is optimised.

The signal controller may, for example, give a longer green light period to through traffic on the A725 at peak times to reduce queuing for the greatest traffic flow demand. This would result in traffic on the side roads waiting slightly longer than at off-peak times before being given a green light.

The filter arrow doesn’t work?

The junctions are designed to optimise traffic flows through the junction, so the filter arrows may not operate when there is only one vehicle waiting, to give priority to other traffic flows with greater demand.

The traffic signals at the Shawhead junctions are equipped with technology that can detect vehicles through a network of sensors which are located above and below ground. These sensors wirelessly feedback information to the signal controller to activate the right-turn filter signal.

The sensors will tell the receiver wirelessly when there is a queue of vehicles waiting to turn right and then trigger the filter arrow.

Case Study - BIM

The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) during construction

The project was one of the first major road projects in Scotland to pioneer the use of BIM - a cutting-edge 3D technology which is revolutionising civil engineering.

BIM uses digital technology to help design, build, maintain and manage construction projects more effectively throughout their lifecycle. As the most complex part of the project to be up-graded, Raith Interchange, Junction 5 of the M74, was selected as an ideal area in which to trial BIM as it could be treated as a stand-alone section.

An intelligent 3D model of all the new infrastructure at Raith Junction was created, which included everything from the underground location of utility services to the type of street lighting installed – even details down to the wattage of a bulb to be replaced – was all available at the touch of a button using BIM.

At Raith Junction, the engineers had the challenge of constructing the underpass below the water table given the nearby River Clyde, as well as relocating a significant number of underground utilities. BIM was instrumental in the success of the construction of the new junction and Transport Scotland is committed to supporting the construction industry to deliver greater efficiencies through the design, construction and operational stages of projects, through the use of BIM.

Some key benefits of the use of BIM at Raith Junction included:

  • Reduced risk due to greater visibility and collaboration between design and construction teams
  • Reduced errors during on site construction due to design clash detection on the virtual model
  • Improved safety by replicating construction methodology on the virtual model
  • Reduced information loss between project phases, ensuring the capture and handover of full asset information from construction to the Operations and Maintenance phase

Find out more from the BIM video

 

An image of the new Raith Junction generated using BIM technology

An image of the new Raith Junction generated using BIM technology

 

Aerial view of Raith Junction 5 of M74 during construction circa November 2014, prior to piling of the underpass

Aerial view of Raith Junction 5 of M74 during construction circa November 2014, prior to piling of the underpass

 

Aerial view of Raith Junction during construction circa Dec 2016, showing completion of piling and emergence of the A725 underpass below the M74

Aerial view of Raith Junction during construction circa Dec 2016, showing completion of piling and emergence of the A725 underpass below the M74

Environment

A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been carried out and the results published in the Environmental Statement, in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999.

This is one of the largest infrastructure developments currently underway in Scotland. Some impact on the environment is inevitable, but through the many comprehensive studies and surveys that have been undertaken, mitigation measures have been implemented to alleviate the impact as far as possible. These measures include:

  • mammal tunnels, fences and bridges to help continued movement of local wildlife
  • noise attenuation barriers
  • sustainable drainage systems

Road traffic noise

The scheme design includes appropriate mitigation where necessary and practicable. This takes the form of earth bunds, fencing and low-noise road surfacing.

Properties which may qualify for noise insulation were identified in the Environmental Statements.

SRP will carry out further assessments in accordance with Noise Insulation (Scotland) Regulations 1975, with noise surveys carried out pre and post construction and at years 5, 10 and 15 after the road opens.

There are three levels of noise accountability:

  • local authorities, who set acceptable noise criteria and monitor the works to assess compliance
  • SRP, who provide a liaison officer for local communities
  • Transport Scotland, who monitor SRP's management of the process

Funding and support

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvement Project contract has a net present value of £500 million (February 2014), which includes the construction, operation, maintenance and finance of the project roads for over 30 years. This represents a construction cost of £310m, which is significantly below the pre-tender estimate for the construction cost of £415m.

It is the first roads infrastructure scheme and was the largest contract, at the time, to be awarded as part of the Scottish Government’s £2.5 billion Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) model. This helps ensure that public money is being used efficiently.

Following a significant level of international investor interest, funding for the project is being provided by both the European Investment Bank (EIB), and a group of investors managed by Allianz Global Investors, one of the world’s leading integrated financial services providers.

Support for the project

Iain McMillan, CBI Scotland

“The completion of the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh has been a long-standing priority for our members.

“Improved connectivity is essential for the success of Scotland's economy and the upgrading of this stretch of motorway is crucial to that success.

“The Scottish Government is to be commended for delivering on this long-desired and much needed infrastructure project.”

David Watt, Executive Director, IoD Scotland

“This is an extremely positive move as it will greatly reduce the travel time between our two largest cities, which in turn will have a positive impact on the Scottish economy.

“It is imperative that we have a world class road link between the two commercial centres to ensure goods and services can be transported quickly and efficiently.

“The long term gain is significant and it will allow Scotland to continue to attract investment and compete on an international stage.”

Chris MacRae, Head of Policy for Scotland, Freight Transport Association

“Upgrading the main motorway connecting Scotland's two most important cities is essential to the efficiency and internal connectivity of Scotland's supply chain.”

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

“Enhancing Scotland’s transport connectivity is essential in order to ensure our economy’s future competitiveness.

“That is why Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcome the investment being made to upgrade the M8’s missing link – the A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse – alongside other essential improvements to the central Scotland motorway network.

“This is a well used piece of our road transport network and the flow of traffic here is crucial not just for the west of Scotland but also for connections to the north, east and south”

Operation & Maintenance

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project was fully opened to traffic on 1 June 2017.

Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), through its subcontractor Amey, is responsible for managing, operating and maintaining this core section of the Scottish trunk road network on behalf of Scottish Ministers until 2047.

The extent of the trunk road network for which SRP is responsible is shown in this diagram:

SRP is responsible for a range of services to keep the trunk road network operational and safe for use, that include:

  • winter maintenance activities
  • incident response services
  • inspections and surveys
  • identification and repair of defects.

From time to time, SRP may require to undertake works to maintain the road network and this may require traffic management. For updates on SRP traffic management necessary for operation and maintenance of the new motorway and trunk road network, see the Traffic Scotland website, or follow @trafficscotland on Twitter.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is a vital part of the project, from the early stages of design & planning, throughout the construction phase, and beyond to the essential operation and maintenance of the new trunk road and associated infrastructure.

Scottish Roads Partnership, our contractor for the operation and maintenance for the new project roads, regularly engages with local stakeholders, road users, local residents and businesses to keep people informed of any works and associated traffic management that may affect them.

This engagement includes emails to stakeholders directly affected by potential works, press releases, travel bulletins and social media up-dates to the media, as well as regular up-dates on the project and Traffic Scotland website. Quarterly newsletters were also produced during the construction phase of the project.

For further information regarding the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, please contact:

Scottish Road Partnership
1E Willow House, Kestrel View, Strathclyde Business Park, Bellshill ML4 3PB
Email: info@scotroadspartnership.co.uk
Telephone: 0800 042 0188

Scottish Road Partnership also has a dedicated project website.

Historic exhibitions & consultations

Prior to construction, consultation took place over many years to show the community examples of what the finished road network would look like following the upgrading and improvement works that formed part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project. These consultations were held with statutory and non-statutory bodies including Local Authorities, the public, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), interest groups, businesses, landowners and more.

To keep local communities and road users informed of the developing proposals and construction progress, numerous public exhibitions, meetings, and leaflet drops were undertaken.

View a summary of the consultations

The timeline below outlines the journey of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvement Project from early consultation and Public Local Inquiries (PLIs) through to construction and the opening of the new roads.

Timeline of progress on the M8 M73 M74 project from the publication of Draft Orders and Environmental Statement in 2006 to new roads opening in 2017

View historic publications relating to the project

Community Benefits Realised by Major Infrastructure Investment

Preserving the Precious Environment of Cander Moss

As part of sustainability week in Spring 2014, ten members of the project staff volunteered to help Scottish Wildlife Trust conserve Cander Moss Nature Reserve.

As part of a wider management plan to re-wet the 24 hectare peat bog and restore its ecosystem, work was undertaken to protect the reserve and its’ unique species by preventing it turning back to woodland. The prime objective of the maintenance of the moss is wildlife conservation.

Cander Moss is located near the village of Stonehouse, east of the M74 motorway: it is owned and managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This lowland raised bog is a naturally formed dome of peat that started its life as a loch or marshy hollow after the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, kept wet purely from the high amount of rainwater that falls on it.

Monitoring of the water level in Cander Moss showed that the dams installed in the ditches raised the water table significantly, but there is still too large a fluctuation occurring throughout the year, so additional tree felling around the edges and continued control of the seedlings and saplings on the open bog is essential to help it recover further.

The practical conservation work undertaken by the group made a lasting difference to preserve the rare raised bog habitat and species found there. It also helped prevent carbon locked in the peat from being released into the atmosphere.

As well as the vast array of mosses, bogs support a whole range of other species including plants like bog asphodel and insectivorous sundews and wildlife such as bees, moths and butterflies, lizards, newts, frogs, toads and a whole host of birds including meadow pipits, stonechat, short-eared owl and harriers.

This rarity and diversity means that many sites, including Cander Moss are legally protected and have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Conservation management is necessary at the Cander Moss to ensure it is kept in optimum condition for wildlife conservation and scientific and educational studies.

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project team volunteering with the Scottish Wildlife Trust at SSSI to preserve Cander Moss

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project team volunteering with the Scottish Wildlife Trust at SSSI to preserve Cander Moss

Spreading a little Christmas Magic

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvement Project brought a little bit of festive cheer to those who needed it most in December 2014. Over the winter period, the Operation and Maintenance and Construction teams worked with a number of worthy charities delivering toys, gift vouchers and raising money for some of the most vulnerable in society.

A 'Sustainable Santa' initiative saw project staff collect more than 2.2 tonnes of toys from Scottish primary school children the week before Christmas. Pupils were asked to recycle their old and unwanted toys, books and games to worth­while causes rather than sending them to landfill.

The estimated value of the toys col­lected, many of which were immaculate or unopened, was in excess of £2,000. A number of local charities benefited from the toy collection including Airdrie Foodbank, Scottish Refugee Council, St Andrew’s Hospice in Lanarkshire and the toy recycling charity, Good Green Fun.

The project staff also contributed to Airdrie Foodbank by holding a selection box appeal, and filled four large sacks with chocolate goodies for local families. Ferrovial Lagan Joint Venture (FLJV) also presented £500 of gift vouchers to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) which enabled the charity to buy presents for the families supported by the charity.

CHAS is a charity that provides the only hospice services in Scotland for children and young people who have life-shortening con­ditions for which there is no known cure. CHAS runs two children’s hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch, and a home care service called CHAS at Home.

Pamela Ward, SRP liaison officer presenting £500 worth of gift vouchers to Scot Maxwell, CHAS fundraiser

Pamela Ward, SRP liaison officer presenting £500 worth of gift vouchers to Scot Maxwell, CHAS fundraiser


Another charity to benefit from the project was Crisis Skylight in Edinburgh, which helps bridge the gap many homeless people face in gaining the skills, qualifications and confidence required to break the cycle of homelessness. Since opening in 2010, it has had a significant impact on the lives of hun­dreds of homeless people.

Ferrovial Lagan Joint Venture (FLJV) raised £2,280 for the Crisis Skylight team which helped the worthy cause provide a warm and welcoming environment and the chance for their Christmas guests to make a fresh start in the New Year.

Raul Pascual, FLJV Project Director presenting £2,280 cheque to Elsie Riley, Crisis Fundraising Manager, Scotland

Raul Pascual, FLJV Project Director presenting £2,280 cheque to Elsie Riley, Crisis Fundraising Manager, Scotland

Community groups benefit from Good Neighbour Fund

Christmas 2015 came early for three local community organisations, each benefitting from a cash windfall thanks to the £500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project.

Bothwell Horticultural Society, Viewpark Conservation Group in Uddingston and Hattonrigg Senior Citizens Club in Bellshill, were among the first local community groups to benefit from the Good Neighbour Fund.

The Good Neighbour Fund was established by Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), to give something back to the local communities in close proximity to the works.

Members of The Bothwell Horticultural Society (BHS) were presented with a cheque for £500 at the Butterfly Sensory Garden on Bothwell Main Street in December 2015.

Harry Marsh, secretary, and Morag Smith, former president of Bothwell Horticultural Society, accepted the cheque on behalf of the organisation.

Mr Marsh, said: "The re-vamped sensory garden is a popular attraction for many children and families living in the village. This funding which has been kindly donated by SRP will be used to install a new information board at the entrance to the garden and is very gratefully received."

Similarly, members of Hattonrigg Senior Citizens Club in Bellshill enjoyed a day trip to The Kelpies next to the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Falkirk Wheel, and Viewpark Conservation Group created a calendar to showcase the diverse wildlife and beautiful scenery on Viewpark’s doorstep.

Morag Smith, former president of BHS, Pamela Ward of Ferrovial Lagan and Harry Marsh, Secretary of BHS

Morag Smith, former president of BHS, Pamela Ward of Ferrovial Lagan and Harry Marsh, Secretary of BHS

Sharks Make a Splash in Sheffield

Bellshill Sharks Amateur Swimming Club made a big splash thanks to a £500 award from Scottish Roads Partnership’s Good Neighbour Fund.

The club, dedicated to developing the skills of talented young swimmers from 8 to 18 years, benefitted from the funding initiative set up to support communities living in close proximity to the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project.

The Bellshill Sharks used the cash injection to help fund their entry into a swimming competition in Sheffield on in September, 2016.

The money enabled 35 young swimmers to participate in the Sheffield Teaspoons Meet, giving them the opportunity to compete against some of the top swimmers south of the border.

Club secretary Lorna Carlyle, said: "By competing in this meet, the squads were given the opportunity to improve performance, develop new skills and confidence - particularly in our young swimmers, and develop a sense of team spirit."

Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP) set aside a total of £15,000 to offer grants of up to £500 to local groups and organisations through the Good Neighbour Fund.

Schools Road Safety Poster Competition

Two budding artists from primary schools in North and South Lanarkshire lifted a top prize of £250 for their school in a competition to design a road safety poster.

The competition, run by Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), challenged local primary school children to design an eye-catching poster to mark National Road Safety Week in November 2015.

In the Primary 4 and under category, the winning poster was created by Neve McAllister (age 7) of Victoria Primary School in Airdrie, who created a colourful design highlighting the potential dangers near pedestrian crossings.

In the Primary 5 and over category, William Walker (age 11) from St. John the Baptist Primary in Uddingston, also won £250 for his school with his design highlighting the dangers of drinking and driving.

Both winning entries were displayed within the project office and were used on suitable construction sites in the local area.

Pamela Ward of Scottish Roads Partnership with winner Neve McAllister of Victoria Primary School in Airdrie

Pamela Ward of Scottish Roads Partnership with winner Neve McAllister of Victoria Primary School in Airdrie

Kids Get Muddy Thanks to Roads Project

Muddy Adventures Community Group, which encourages children and families to engage and learn through nature, received £1,000 from the Good Neighbour Fund £1K Summer Bonus.

The group runs outdoor forest school sessions for 60 youngsters between the ages of 4 and 12, in Strathclyde Country Park. Muddy Adventures, a non-profit community group based in Motherwell, planned to double its numbers and buy vital equipment including childproof cameras and art supplies with the £1,000 award.

Spokeswoman Malissa Bell, said: "This is fantastic news. This money will go far and the children will love it."

Scottish Roads Partnership made a further £500 award to 3rd Blantyre Scout Group to purchase two outdoor shelters to help with the Scout’s conservation project in Redlees Urban Fringe Park near Blantyre in South Lanarkshire.

A total of £15,000 was available to support local groups and organisations through the Good Neighbour Fund with other recipients including: the Celtic Boys 2002 Youth Football Team in North Lanarkshire and the Community Learning & Development Partnership Friday Night Project in Coatbridge.

Scottish Roads Partnership presented Muddy Adventures with a bumper cheque for £1,000 from its Good Neighbour Fund

Scottish Roads Partnership presented Muddy Adventures with a bumper cheque for £1,000 from its Good Neighbour Fund

Connecting communities

The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project has delivered a significant number of improvements to the active travel network, making new connections between several communities via new pedestrian and cycle friendly routes.

The Scottish Government is committed to developing an Active Nation and has invested in the cycle and foot paths in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow as part of the project.

The new routes have been designed to be safer and more accessible to all user groups, and aim to encourage walking and cycling for short, everyday journeys.

View map showing new cycle and pedestrian paths

This new active travel network has improved the connections between many of the local communities, businesses and areas of employment in North and South Lanarkshire and Glasgow.

Active travel

As part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, 16km of new and improved pedestrian and cycle routes were constructed to link with existing walkways and cycling paths, making it easier for everyone to incorporate active travel choices into their daily routines.

By introducing this new network of paths, cyclists and pedestrians are now separated from road traffic, providing safe routes to encourage environmentally friendly travel for both work and leisure.

The most significant features of this investment include a number of new pedestrian bridges at key locations including Raith and Shawhead Junctions, and along the new M8/A8 corridor. These new bridges link many of the communities surrounding the trunk roads for the first time since the 1960s when the roads infrastructure was built, improving access to a range of employment and recreational areas.

This includes connecting Hamilton and Bothwell in South Lanarkshire to Strathclyde Park and the communities in North Lanarkshire, and linking Bargeddie and Coatbridge to the nearby community of Bellshill and Strathclyde Business Park.

The new and improved active travel routes link to National Cycle Network (NCN)74 which connects Greater Glasgow with Gretna on the border with England, and NCN 75, which links Edinburgh and Glasgow along disused railways, riverside and canal towpaths.

The map showing the new routes created as part of the project also highlights local visitor attractions and points of recreational interest, as well as the railway network and the cycling facilities available at each train station to allow you to plan your journey.

The benefits of more people cycling and walking include:

  • easing congestion
  • reducing noise pollution
  • cutting exhaust emissions
  • improving health
  • giving us more time to enjoy our urban spaces
  • saving money