Eight-month roadworks nightmare is looming

Buses will disappear from North Road for much of next year.
Buses will disappear from North Road for much of next year.

A bus operator is warning that many passengers will be without a service for EIGHT months due to major roadworks in Bellshill.

North Road will be closed to allow a bridge to be built as part of the M8 motorway upgrading at Shawhead.

A temporary road will be put in place, but buses won’t be allowed access and must use a diversion as will Coatbridge-bound cars.

First Glasgow has warned that as a result its regular 201 bus won’t be able to serve passengers in the town’s Hattonrigg area.

The company said it had been led to believe buses would be allowed on the temporary road.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, we’ve been informed by the contractor at a late stage that buses will be unable to use it due to load restrictions being in place.

“We expect this to cause significant disruption to bus services and a great deal of inconvenience to our passengers, many of whom will now be without a service for the works duration as this information has come too late to allow for timetable revisions to be made.

“We have appealed to the contractor to upgrade the temporary road to allow for bus travel, and have asked both North Lanarkshire Council and SPT to support us in pushing to prevent a level of disruption to our passengers that is simply unacceptable.”

North Road will be closed near Shawhead for three weeks from January 25 to allow the temporary road to be built. All traffic going to and from Bellshill will be diverted via Bellziehill roundabout.

The temporary junction will allow cars travelling from Coatbridge/Shawhead to Bellshill to continue to use North Road during the eight-month
closure.

However, traffic in the opposite direction will have to go on to the A725 at the temporary junction then take the next exit at Bellshill Industrial Estate, cross the bridge and re-join the A725 Coatbridge-bound from Strathclyde Business Park.

Bellshill councillor Harry Curran said the detour could be “horrendous” for drivers at peak times when the A725 is already busy with traffic from the industrial
estates.

He said: “I have nothing but sympathy for commuters and those who take the 201 to go to Coatbridge, Airdrie or Monklands Hospital.”