Roads (Scotland) Act 1984; Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) (Scotland) Act 1947 M74 Special Road (Fullerton Road to West of Kingston Bridge) Orders - Report of Public Local Inquiry Into Objections

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ROADS (SCOTLAND) ACT 1984; ACQUISITION OF LAND (AUTHORISATION PROCEDURE)(SCOTLAND) ACT 1947
M74 SPECIAL ROAD (FULLARTON ROAD TO WEST OF KINGSTON BRIDGE) ORDERS
REPORT OF PUBLIC LOCAL INQUIRY INTO OBJECTIONS
VOLUME 1 : MAIN REPORT

CHAPTER 4 : TRAFFIC IMPLICATIONS

Introduction

4.1 Extensive traffic modelling and technical analysis has been carried out on behalf of the TRA to predict the traffic flows that would result from alterations to the road system, new development, and assumed general increases in vehicle flows. The modelling is based on the existing road network together with various new projects that are regarded as firm commitments (the "do minimum" or "reference" case); and the addition of the preferred scheme for the M74C (the "do something" case). The modelling facility has also been used to compare the performance of different versions of the completion scheme, leading to the selection of the preferred option; and to test and then optimise the performance of road junctions on the surface (local) network that are likely to be affected by increased traffic flows. The traffic predictions also provide an input to the air quality predictions, and to the direct economic benefits of the proposal, in terms of reduced journey times.

4.2 Although there are criticisms of some of the basic assumptions that underpin this traffic analysis, notably the absence of a full multi-modal study and the assumption that traffic will continue to grow despite the various government policies to curb vehicle use and promote public transport, no objectors have contested the methodology of the technical analysis of the traffic flows. The resulting traffic predictions provide useful information about the probable traffic effects of the new road, and are the best information available for that purpose. This information is likely to be better than informed guesstimates.

4.3 The following section describes and (where necessary) explains the probable traffic implications of the preferred M74C scheme, based on the traffic modelling information. This is followed by sections that summarise the main points made by the TRA and the objectors in relation to traffic matters.

Description of probable traffic changes and re-distribution

4.4 The traffic modelling carried out on behalf of the TRA to predict the traffic effects of the M74C sits within the wider context of the higher tier modelling of traffic throughout central Scotland, known as CSTM3A. The CSTM3A results have been validated against observed traffic flows on roads in the M74 corridor and vicinity, comparing well on the main routes but showing more variable comparisons in some local areas. The M74C modelling is based on the national traffic growth assumptions described in the previous chapter. The use of the Paramics modelling system has allowed progressive refinement of the predictions to take account of more detailed influences on drivers' choice of routes, and micro simulations of the performance and optimisation of local junctions where traffic increases are expected to result from the new road.

4.5 The modelling facility has been used to assess the operation of different versions of the M74C scheme, varying from a more modest scheme (2 lanes each way and 2 intermediate junctions) to a larger scheme providing progressively 4 and 5 lanes at the western end. The smaller scheme would be likely to approach full capacity by the design year (assumed to be 2010 as a proxy for possible opening of the new road in 2008). The larger scheme would have adequate capacity at the western end in the design year, but would attract so much traffic that the eastern 3 lane section would approach available capacity in the opening year.

4.6 The preferred design (3 lanes each way, except for the 2 lane links to the M8 at the western end, and without direct connections to the Kingston Bridge) would be expected to operate below capacity along all sections in the opening year, and in 2020, under both the low and high growth scenarios. However there would be likely to be some congestion on the approach routes, including the existing M74 from the east (see paragraph 4.8-4.9 below). Thus traffic would be expected to flow freely once it was on the new section of road, giving considerable time savings both here and elsewhere. The reduction in journey times (2010 and 2020 - both growth scenarios) are predicted to be up to about 15 minutes (and up to 19 minutes in one example) for strategic journeys, and up to about 6 minutes for local journeys. These time savings are reflected in the direct economic benefit estimated for the scheme ( see chapter 3).

4.7 The main changes in motorway traffic flows expected to result from the completion of the M74 are as follows :

  • Reductions of approximately 13-18% (PM/AM peaks, 2010, high growth scenario, both directions combined) from the section of the M8 west of Baillieston; and 9-10% (both peaks, both directions combined) west of the M80 junction, a total reduction amounting to approximately 20,000 vehicles per day. The resulting combined AM flow on the section of the M8 west of the M80 is predicted to be about 13,745.
  • On the Kingston Bridge mainline, traffic reductions of about 5% in the morning peak and 8%-19% in the evening peak, but increases of 15% (am peak) and 29% (pm peak) on the northbound outer braid.
  • Increased use of the M73 and existing westernmost section of the M74 by vehicles using the M74C as an alternative to the M8 and the M80 to enter or pass through central Glasgow.
  • Increased traffic flows on the M8 between the Clyde Tunnel and the M8/M74junction at Kingston.
  • Increased traffic flows on the M77 to the south of the junction with the M8.
  • Reduced congestion in the vicinity of the M8/M74/M77 merge area to the southwest of the Kingston Bridge, due to redistribution of traffic between the Kingston Bridge and M74 links.

4.8 At the eastern end of the new section of motorway, the increase in the westbound flow on the existing M74 approaching the Fullarton Road junction resulting from the new road is predicted to be in the order of +125% in 2010 (am peak) and even greater in the evening peak, compared with the do minimum situation. These much larger traffic flows would be close to or exceed the capacity of the road during peak periods under the higher growth scenario in the opening year, and to exceed capacity in both peaks by 2020. Under the low growth scenario, the expected flows during both peak hours would be slightly lower than the available capacity, with a similar situation continuing to 2020. The comparison of actual and demand flows contained in table 5.1 of document TRA/E/14 (Operational Assessment of Preferred M74 Completion Scheme Option) shows that the excess westbound demand in 2010 for the higher growth scenario would be around 700 vehicles in the morning peak and 850 in the evening peak, rising to around 1050 and 1170 respectively by 2020. The corresponding figures for the lower growth scenario would be an excess of 373 vehicles in the evening peak in 2010, and around 700 vehicles in both peaks by 2020.

4.9 The excess demand of some 850 vehicles on the eastern approach to the new motorway in the year of opening (higher growth scenario) is predicted to form queues occupying some 1800m (about one mile) of the motorway, spread across all 3 westbound lanes, and possibly extending eastwards beyond junction 3. In practice, some drivers (with local knowledge or driver information) would be expected to respond to this congestion by rerouting to a theoretically less congested alternative route, re-time the journey to avoid the peak, alter their destination where that is possible, change mode, or refrain from travelling. The TRA evidence indicates that it is very difficult to predict what combination of these responses would occur. However it is expected that a combination of these factors and restraints resulting from congestion elsewhere in the system would significantly reduce the queues of M74 westbound traffic approaching the Fullarton junction under the higher growth scenario, and eliminate queuing under the lower growth scenario.

4.10 At the western end of the new section of motorway, an excess of some 600 vehicles is predicted on the eastbound approach to the M74C from the M8 in the evening peak (2010, higher growth scenario), rising to some 1100 vehicles by 2020, by which time there would also be an excess of some 230 vehicles in the morning peak as well. However this would be reduced by capacity limitations of the local network on the approaches to the motorway system in the Dumbreck area (see below), to the extent that the eastbound flows on the M77/M8 approach to the new section of the M74 would be approximately in line with the capacity of this link. It has been found necessary to carry out local improvements to the existing motorways immediately west of Kingston to provide extra capacity in the critical section between the convergence of the M8 and M77 from the west and the M8 and the new M74 from the east. These improvements, which are additional to the M74C scheme itself, would consist largely of converting some sections of hard shoulder to additional running lanes. The cost would be in the order of £15 million. (Details are given in document TRA/E/15, notably in figure 2.5.)

4.11 In relation to increased traffic on local roads that will serve the junctions on the new section of motorway, the following changes are predicted :

(absolute and % increases in AM peak, year 2010, high traffic growth, both directions combined.)

  • Cambuslang Road east of Dukes Road : +296 vehicles +15%
  • Cambuslang Road west of Dukes Road : +108 vehicles +4%
  • Polmadie Road south of Rutherglen Road : +455 vehicles +36%
  • Aikenhead Road north of Calder Street : + 252 vehicles +16%

These increases are not expected to result in any significant queues on these approach roads, as the additional number of vehicles is predicted to be less than 100 per hour. Any such queues would probably be reduced or eliminated by optimisation of traffic signals, delays elsewhere in the system, or re-routing or re-timing of trips. The re-opening of the junction of Aikenhead Road and Polmadie Road (south end) is expected to divert traffic to and from the M74 Polmadie Road junction to a mainly commercial street from a mainly residential street.

4.12 On other roads in the vicinity of junctions on the new motorway, there are either reductions in flows, or any increases are very small numbers of vehicles. The position in 2020 is generally similar, bearing in mind that traffic flows are assumed to increase both with and without the M74 Completion scheme.

4.13 In the Rutherglen area, general traffic growth is expected to lead to increasing congestion along Main Street. The Completion scheme would provide an alternative route for through traffic, reducing traffic levels. Some improvements to local street junctions would be desirable to accommodate traffic going to and from the motorway junctions. Bus lanes are already in place on Main Street.

4.14 In the Govanhill area, the introduction of the M74C is predicted to have little effect on traffic, compared with the do minimum scenario. Some local optimisation may be required to respond to continuing traffic growth, with or without the new motorway.

4.15 In the Kingston area, where some localised heavy queuing is already predicted in the do minimum forecast, the introduction of the M74C would alleviate some problems (by creating a segregated east/west route for through traffic) and relocate others. The modelling does not seek to remedy existing problems, but to establish the performance of the new arrangements that are proposed. With detailed optimisation of local signal and junction arrangements, the proposed arrangements are predicted to work well, but some localised queuing would remain, notably in the Shields Road/Scotland Street area.

4.16 In the Seaward Street area, there are already problems of congestion, which are expected to worsen due to general traffic growth. The introduction of the M74 extension is predicted to make little difference to the situation, although some improvement could be achieved by local optimisation. (Again, the modelling does not seek to remedy existing problems, but to establish the performance of the new arrangements that are proposed.)

4.17 In the Dumbreck area, the introduction of the M74C is predicted to result in a mixture of decreases and increases on local roads. The most significant increases are on Helen Street in the morning peak, and on Paisley Road West in all time periods. Congestion due to general traffic growth would continue in certain places at various times, and there is scope for local optimisation and improvements. However the overall effect of the new M74 connection on the performance of local roads in this area is regarded as neutral. If the new road was not built, the do minimum analysis showed that existing congestion would continue and worsen.

4.18 Reductions in traffic flows on local roads are expected to be streets that are currently main east side routes in and out of Glasgow City centre, where traffic is expected to transfer to the new section of motorway. Significant reductions are expected on the following streets :

(absolute and % reductions in AM peak, year 2010, high traffic growth, both directions combined.)

  • London Road east of Fielden Street: -61 vehicles -6%
  • Dalmarnock Road north of Farme Cross : -151 vehicles -9%
  • Shettleston Road east of Duke Street : -57 vehicles -5%
  • Main Street, Rutherglen, west of Farmeloan Road : -254 vehicles -13%
  • Main Street, Rutherglen, west of Cambuslang Road : -422 vehicles -22%
  • Cambuslang Road east of Rutherglen Main Street : -739 vehicles -24%
  • Calder Street east of Pollockshaws Road : -158 vehicles -22%

4.19 If the M74C scheme is not implemented, the do minimum modelling of the Fullarton Road junction shows that it would remain a focal point for traffic converging on and dispersing from the existing M74. This would lead to considerable peak hour congestion on all the approaches to the junction, including the westbound M74 itself, which in the worst case would be worse than would be experienced with the completion scheme in place.

Traffic implications : the case for objectors

4.20 In relation to traffic matters, the main points made by objectors were :

  • Traffic on the new motorway and the approach roads to junctions would increase noise, air emissions, road safety problems, visual intrusion, and community severance for local residents and other road users. (These matters are covered in more detail in following chapters.)
  • The motorway access junctions would be traffic focal points that would create serious problems for pedestrians and cyclists because of the numerous road junctions and traffic flows.
  • The reduction in traffic on Rutherglen Main Street would be relatively small.
  • Any traffic benefits of the M74C scheme at opening would be likely to be lost due to progressive traffic growth, with continuing congestion at various locations on the motorway network and approach roads.
  • It was unrealistic for the TRA to expect to achieve a free flow of traffic on the trunk road network at all times : some congestion was to be expected in urban areas at peak periods.
  • The scheme would feed more traffic into the city centre, whereas proposed new developments along the Clyde Waterfront should be served by public transport. Similarly access to Glasgow Airport should be by rail, rather than making provision for more vehicle trips.
  • At the western end of the Completion scheme, 2 lanes from the M74 would converge with 3 lanes (westbound) from the M8, creating a bottleneck. The proposal to provide extra running lanes at this location by converting the hard shoulders would make this heavily used area very vulnerable to disruption caused by accidents, broken down vehicles, or roadworks.
  • No direct connections are proposed between the western end of the M74 Completion scheme and the Kingston Bridge (M8). Traffic using the new motorway wishing to travel to or from the city centre and the area to the north and west (eg the West End, Kelvinside) would have to use the surface streets between the Kingston Bridge and the M74 Kingston ramps, or surface streets and other Clyde bridges. It would be better for traffic to have a direct route from the M74 to the Kingston Bridge, and to avoid adding to flows on the local network. (See paragraphs 4.23-4.32 below on objection by Mr George Baillie for more detail.)

The traffic case for the trunk road authority

4.21 The TRA considers that the main traffic advantages of the proposed M74C scheme would be :

  • It would complete the M74 motorway, giving a direct motorway link between areas to the west and southwest of Glasgow (Greenock, Renfrew, Paisley, Glasgow Airport, etc) and areas to the southeast of Glasgow (Hamilton, Motherwell, etc, and the motorway link to England and Europe via the M6).
  • This would provide a quicker and more reliable route for freight traffic (predicted to be 7-15% of vehicles) to and from the areas to the west and southwest of Glasgow, where there are important business users. (See chapter 3 for direct economic benefits and chapter 8 for indirect economic benefits.)
  • It would considerably reduce traffic on the parallel section of the M8 (between Baillieston and the Kingston Bridge) where there is very extensive traffic congestion and delay, and also on the A80/M80 approach to Glasgow.
  • Time savings for journeys across and through Glasgow are expected to be in the order of 5-10 minutes during peak hours.
  • It would alleviate congestion at the convergence of the M8 and M77 to the west of Kingston, by correcting an imbalance in the use of the inner and outer braids.
  • It would allow traffic on the east side of Glasgow to be diverted between the M8 and the M74 when either was obstructed due to roadworks or an accident, using the driver advance information displays along the approach routes. This would add to the time savings and economic benefits resulting from the M74C.
  • These results would contribute to the Scottish Executive's vision for 2021 that road traffic on all parts of the network will be flowing smoothly without congestion.
  • It would relieve traffic on many local roads, giving road safety and environmental benefits to those using these roads or occupying nearby properties.
  • It would create additional space on those roads which would be used by the local highway authorities for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport ( see chapter 3, paragraphs 3.43-3.44 and 3.52).

4.22 In response to objections and criticisms, points made by TRA witnesses included :

  • The M74C scheme would generate some additional traffic, as distinct from general traffic growth and transfers of trips from other routes, but this increase would be very small (see paragraph 3.38 above). The main use of the new section of motorway would be to relieve traffic on the existing network.
  • The traffic reductions on local streets resulting from the M74C will make them safer for children and other vulnerable road users. It is predicted that there would be 760-975 fewer accidents across the network during the 20 year period after the opening of the new motorway, a revised estimate that updates the figures of 525-700 given in the Final Proposal brochure (March 2003).
  • At the Kingston ramps, 73%-80% of M74 traffic is predicted to pass through the M8 east/west links, indicating that the majority of vehicles would not be using the M74C for commuting purposes to go to and from the city centre.
  • References in consultant's reports to continuing congestion on the motorway at Kingston resulted in the proposed interventions west of Kingston to provide more running lanes on the M8 between the M74 and M77 junctions. This would involve the conversion of sections of hard shoulder to running lanes, but adjacent emergency lay-bys would be provided wherever possible.

Objection by Mr George Baillie : Omission of direct motorway connections between the M74C and the Kingston Bridge

Summary of case for the objector

4.23 The objection is to the lack of a direct connection from the M74C in either direction to the Kingston Bridge. As a retired professional engineer, he has provided indicative plans to show how this link could be provided. The boundaries of the areas to be acquired under the CPO should be extended to facilitate direct connections, with similar adjustment to the related Roads Orders. At the very least, the possibility of direct connections at a future date should be safeguarded. The development plan supports better transport links and economic regeneration across the conurbation. The objector has no wish to delay the M74C - all he seeks is a minor modification of the 1995 proposal for which planning permission was granted

4.24 In support of the objection, it is submitted that, while the M74C is to be welcomed as a major boost to the economy of the west of Scotland, all previous proposals for this strategic road link have included direct connections at the south end of Kingston Bridge. Indeed, as far back as the Glasgow Highway Plan of 1961, there was a proposal for an inner ring road. Without these connections, the Glasgow urban road network will be incomplete and the south east quadrant will be disadvantaged when compared to the rest of the conurbation. Locations in the south east of the city and South Lanarkshire will be less attractive to potential investors and the local economy will suffer. The objector is concerned that the omission of this option may have disadvantaged Rutherglen and Cambuslang. Even between these 2 towns, Rutherglen is disadvantaged against Cambuslang which will have 3 motorway connections to the M74C. The economic witness for the TRA appeared to support the concept of direct connections. Recently announced developments in the north west quadrant, at the waterfront, and the SECC underscore the need for direct connections. Junction 19 of the M8, which serves the SECC, is already over capacity.

4.25 The objector's scheme proposes 2 single lane (with hard shoulder) elevated structures linking the south end of the Kingston Bridge with the M74C, the construction of which could be achieved without closing the M8. Instead of the embankment at Scotland Street/West Street/Wallace Street/Carnoustie Street proposed by the TRA, the elevated structure over West Street railway station should be extended towards Kingston Bridge, providing valuable city centre parking and revenue for the city council. The objector estimates the cost of the scheme at £10m, a small sum when compared with the overall cost of the M74C. This estimate relates only to the extended elevated structure and not to the connections to surface streets. The indicative scheme is not a working layout, being based on minimal plans and profiles. Further work would be necessary to achieve a satisfactory layout but an engineering solution, not requiring additional land take, may well be possible. There would be no need, as claimed by the TRA, to demolish the existing on ramp to the bridge. It has been closed before for a 6 months period when repairs to the bridge were being undertaken. A similar period towards the end of the M74C construction would be sufficient. The TRA estimates of costs are refuted. The scheme, which is based on 3 lanes in each direction, has not been tested by traffic analysis to conclude that additional running lanes would be required, nor have traffic flows across the direct connections been analysed to support the TRA claims that there would be more traffic on the M8.

4.26 The TRA proposals are criticised as using an unusual arrangement, namely, the city surface street network to link the M8 and M74C instead of direct links which would offer alternative routes for traffic from Lanarkshire, Stirling and Edinburgh, thus further relieving congestion on the M8 northern flank. The use of the surface streets link would result in increased journey times. The comparison with junctions 8 and 13 of the M8 is invalid in that these are not city centre junctions, nor is there any demand for additional connections at these junctions. Use of the surface street network would entail a heavily trafficked one way system in an area that is becoming increasingly residential and where the ES identifies a number of visually sensitive facades. Despite several requests, the TRA has failed to produce forecasts of traffic flow in this area. Extending the elevated structure as the objector proposes would significantly reduce the amount of fill and construction traffic associated with the long embankment proposed by the TRA. On/off ramps serving the objector's direct links would be at much lower levels and 2/3 storey parking could be accommodated under the extended elevated structure.

4.27 The objector considers that direct connections would overcome the problems of complex routing and congestion associated with the TRA's proposed link. While some traffic from the south east quadrant may use the Polmadie interchange to access/egress the city centre, the limited capacity of that junction makes it imperative that adequate capacity is provided at Kingston. Traffic flows at the Kingston junction will be among the highest in the UK. The Outline Business Case for the TRA states that the Kingston junction is the nucleus of the system. The bridge has dual 5 lanes while the M8 from the airport has dual 3 lanes, leaving 2 spare lanes in each direction. Immediately to the north of the bridge there are 3 exits and entrances to the M8 in quick succession and the objector's scheme makes use of the resultant spare capacity. This would relieve the junctions on the northern flank of the M8 which currently serve the SECC. Existing lane barriers on the M8 would be retained. The objector's proposal assumes a speed limit of 50mph. The off ramp east bound uses the existing dead end structures. The on ramp west bound would go over the existing disused railway at West Street to connect with the existing on ramp at Gloucester Street. The proposal allows for the re-opening of Gloucester Street, re-instating the surface street links from Cook Street to the bridge and Gloucester Street/M8 west bound, while retaining surface street connections to the M74C. In short, the proposal is a modification of the scheme for which planning permission was granted in 1995. The proposal may require the purchase of additional land.

4.28 Reference is made to the government's key transport assessment criteria of environment, safety, economy, integration, and accessibility. The need for the strategic link is urgent given increasing congestion, the economic success of the east of Scotland when compared to the west, and the increasing growth of air traffic at Edinburgh Airport as compared with Glasgow. Competitiveness in the conurbation will at best stand still without direct government intervention, and existing business parks with good communications to the east of the city are most likely to benefit. Regeneration areas in the south east quadrant including Rutherglen and Cambuslang will suffer from the absence of a direct link. The Polmadie junction does not provide direct access to the city centre and surface streets would require to be used. The relief of traffic congestion will not be as significant as the TRA claims and the opportunity for better pedestrian, cyclist and public transport routes may not materialise. It is accepted that motorways have fewer accidents per vehicle mile.

Response from the TRA

4.29 In relation to Mr Baillie's objection, the TRA adopts, so far as relevant, the evidence submitted on its behalf in the non site specific first phase of the inquiry. The M74C will be the completion of the main strategic road transport link between west central Scotland and England and will take 20,000 vehicles per day off the M8 northern flank from Baillieston to south of Kingston Bridge. Its primary purpose is as a strategic link between the M74 and the M8/M77. While previous proposals did provide for direct connections, subsequent reviews of these proposals resulted in direct connections being abandoned because of the strategic nature of the link, the desire to discourage short distance commuting, and the likelihood of increased congestion on the bridge itself. The deletion of 2 interchanges at Cathcart Road and Rutherglen Road also followed from these considerations. The TRA proposal results in a decrease in traffic over the bridge. Direct connections to the Kingston Bridge would increase traffic flow on both the M74 and M8, with the possibility of additional running lanes being required. The on/off ramps proposed by the TRA at Kingston are not intended as a motorway to motorway link but to allow easy access/egress to the motorway for essential traffic in the Kingston, Tradeston, and Kinning Park areas. Direct connections would encourage short distance commuting. It is not unusual for there to be motorway junctions without direct connections in either direction, examples being at junctions 8 and 13 of the M8.

4.30 The TRA has examined the objector's scheme against current design standards, the conclusion being that it would not be possible to achieve a satisfactory alignment, due to gradient difficulties. Even were it possible to achieve a satisfactory layout, the scheme would nevertheless entail the demolition of the existing ramp between West Street and the bridge, necessitating the need for an interim on ramp, thus adding to costs. The scheme would also require additional land and, with the TRA and GCC content with the M74C proposal before the inquiry, it is unlikely that such acquisition would be undertaken. The M74C proposal before the inquiry does not preclude direct connections at a future date, possibly by even higher elevated on and off ramps. The objector's scheme would result in the loss or relocation of a number of properties in the Scotland Street area and a change of direction of one way traffic at surface street level, with complex junctions. Direct connections would also involve more lanes, possibly 5 on the M74C between the bridge and Cambuslang Road and 4 lanes east bound thereafter to allow for merge and weave traffic manoeuvres. The TRA estimate of the cost of the scheme, with the necessary adjustments outlined above, is £18m and this does not include additional land acquisition costs. If additional lanes were needed on the M74C, the estimate would increase by a further £95m. The objector's scheme would require to be developed and tested with no guarantee of success. This would take time and, on the available evidence, a fresh compulsory purchase order and roads orders would, in all probability, be required. The objector clearly indicated no desire to delay the M74C, which has resulted from in depth reviews of previous proposals, leading to a down sizing aimed at meeting strategic objectives.

4.31 On environmental issues, the TRA proposal includes high quality design of the elevated structure and landscaped embankments to mitigate the impact on visually sensitive receptors. The impact of an extended elevated structure is difficult to mitigate and the potential for landscaping beneath structures is severely limited. It was nonetheless an option considered and ruled out for this reason when the proposal was being designed. An extended elevated structure would still have an adverse visual impact. While to an extent the removal of some traffic from the surface street network would be a benefit, the proposed embankment offers a better overall mitigation. The ES predicts that, during construction, increases in traffic would not be significant, nor would there be much detriment to local air quality.

4.32 In regard to traffic issues, the TRA submits that, on completion of the M74C, traffic from North and South Lanarkshire is likely to continue to use the M8 to access the city centre and will benefit from the reduction of 20,000 vehicles per day on the northern flank. The reduction in traffic on a number of key radial routes from the south east quadrant will also benefit traffic from this direction. Traffic analysis indicates reduced traffic flows on the existing bridges over the river when the M74C is operational. The M74C proposal does not introduce any new one way roads at the Kingston junction and analysis shows that the altered traffic flows can be readily accommodated. The objector's scheme is criticised on grounds that it involves the closure of the connection from Wallace Street to the M8 west and also to the proposed M74 eastbound on ramp, necessitating major re-routing of traffic. This in turn could create major problems at a number of junctions. The scheme also makes that section of Wallace Street between Paterson Street and West Street two way, requiring traffic lights at the West Street/Wallace Street junction, where operational difficulties are envisaged. The need for additional lanes on the M74C is again demonstrated and there may be the need to re-design the Polmadie and Cambuslang junctions because of increased demand on the M74C. This may also require further land acquisition. The suggestion that the Polmadie junction has limited capacity is strongly refuted on the basis that the design is based on traffic demand predicted for 2020. Similarly, the claim that there is spare capacity on the Kingston Bridge is unfounded, there being severe congestion in both directions at peak periods. Direct connections would simply exacerbate the situation. The traffic analysis undertaken on behalf of the TRA clearly shows that traffic levels will reduce significantly on local roads and that the M74C will result in less accidents and enhanced road safety.