M8 diversion: traffic moving well, transport chiefs say

A major diversion on Scotland's busiest road has seen traffic moving well, according to transport bosses.

The M8 at Ballieston had been a source of delays.
The M8 at Ballieston had been a source of delays.

The first working week of the M8 diversion, which completes the six-mile “missing link” between Ballieston in Glasgow and Newhouse, North Lanarkshire, has resulted in drivers heeding warnings and using alternative routes or transport.

The diversion is necessary to connect the newly built M8 to the existing motorway at Baillieston Interchange, and means traffic is diverted via the A8 near Bargeddie.

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Roads chiefs said they are closely monitoring the impact of the diversion and reminded drivers to avoid the interchange.

Although the diversion, which will last 10 weeks, has been in place since Friday, this is the first week commuters travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh have used it.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “Traffic management for the M8 diversion was implemented as planned over the weekend with the diversion now fully operational.

“Traffic has moved well through the diversion routes and Transport Scotland thank drivers for taking heed of the communications messaging to avoid the Baillieston area and use alternative transport.”

Drivers using the approach to Junction 8 Baillieston Interchange from the M8/A8 east and westbound and the M73 north and southbound are expected to face delays.

Local roads will also be affected, including the A89 Coatbridge Road, the A752 Langmuir Road, and the A8 Glasgow and Edinburgh roads on the approach to Swinton Roundabout.

The work is part of a wider M8/M73/M74 improvements project.

The spokesman added: “Transport Scotland expect it will take a few days for traffic to fully settle down as drivers become accustomed to the diversion routes and would remind drivers to avoid the Baillieston Interchange.

“Traffic Scotland’s National Control Centre in South Queensferry is closely monitoring the effect of the diversion and will be assisting in the co-ordination of any necessary response activities throughout the 10-week period.”

Diversions are expected to cope with road disruption during the 10-week period, however, rail services may be busier than usual.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “Train services around the east of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire and between Edinburgh-Glasgow may be busier as a result of the M8 extension works, especially during peak times.

“We ask that everyone checks timetables for train services on these routes and plans ahead if they’re changing normal travel patterns as a result of the roadworks.”

The M8 westbound through Glasgow city centre between junctions 13 and 22 , was recently revealed to be the third most congested road in Scotland.

In a report, analysts INRIX found congestion cost Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow a total of £582 million in 2016, and an estimated £2.4 billion across Scotland. Neil Greig, the policy director of the IAM RoadSmart motoring group, said public transport must become a more attractive alternative to drivers sitting in queues.