Motorway boost for travelling Scots
The £500m M8, M73 and M74 motorway improvements project has been officially opened, saving motorists up to 20 minutes on journey times.
The project, including the new seven mile stretch of the M8 motorway, aims to tackle congestion problems in central Scotland and is the first part of a combined £1.7b investment by Transport Scotland in the roads network.
New analysis by Transport Scotland shows journey times are significantly improved, with vehicles now travelling along the M8 at an average speed of almost 70mph even during the busiest periods.
The journey time savings have been assessed as contributing more than £1bn to Scotland’s economy, improving the connections for businesses between Edinburgh and Glasgow and beyond.
Improved road safety through the reduction of traffic on local roads is set to result in a predicted reduction of more than 100 accidents per year, and accident savings of more than £118m over a 30-year period.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said: “This new length of motorway has completed the M8 link between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Scotland’s previously most congested junction.
“The M8 is a vital link in the central belt and this newly-completed section will help connect people to business, leisure and education opportunities and also creates a better environment for companies to do business.”
She added: “With the completion of this project and three others others – the Queensferry crossing, the first section of the A9 dualling and the Aberdeen by-pass – by next spring, more than 250km of new roads will have been completed in the last 10 years representing a total investment in construction of £2.81 billion.”