Politicians have clashed after the Scottish Government hailed the long-awaited end of major roadworks in Lanarkshire.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown told the Scottish Parliament the last of the lane restrictions will be lifted over the next few days and the £500 million M8, M73 M74 Motorways Improvement Project will be completed on schedule.
He admitted that some work will continue “at least until September”, but insisted the disruption of the last two and a half years is about to end.
However, Mr Brown’s comments were greeted with scepticism by Central Scotland MSP Margaret Mitchell who reckons completion is still “light years away”.
She told parliament “countless” drivers are getting lost due to poor signage which is having a knock-on effect for businesses whose trade has fallen drastically.
One of the final pieces in the jigsaw is completion of the A8 overbridge from Eurocentral towards Shawhead which is said to be imminent.
Mr Brown said: “Scotland’s economy will start to see the benefit of this half billion pound investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
“It will result in better journey times during peak periods, better connectivity, journey time reliability and road safety — improving access to facilities and employment areas.
“Snagging works, necessary finishing and local road improvements will continue until at least September, but they will not affect peak-time traffic flows.”
Transport Scotland project sponsor Graeme Reid added: “Local road improvements have been held back until the new roads were available. These will have little impact on the travelling public with the vast majority of these restrictions happening outwith peak hours.”
However, Mrs Mitchell said: “Fully open means proper signs in place and everyone knowing exactly where they are going. We seem to be light years away from that — and there are still dumper trucks all over the place.
“As someone who uses these roads daily, there seems to be still a lot of work to do.
“Delays that commuters are experiencing have been exacerbated by new road configurations and totally inadequate signage for diversions.
“Countless numbers of drivers find themselves completely lost and some shops are seeing trade down 80 per cent.”
Mrs Mitchell urged Mr Brown to visit Lanarkshire and hear from traders about the problems they are facing.