Bridge would be weakest link

Carfin Community Council chairman John Telfer
Carfin Community Council chairman John Telfer

ROADS officials set to unveil plans for a new dual carriageway are being urged not to include a footbridge linking Carfin with Jerviston.

Schoolchildren and other people making their way between the two communities will need some help to cross the potentially busy, expanded road.

However, there are worries that a footbridge will attract troublemakers as has happened less than a mile away on the same road between Holytown and Newarthill.

North Lanarkshire Council is putting plans to upgrade the A723 on show this week. It intends to make the road between Ravenscraig and Newhouse dual carriageway, creating a faster link to the M8.

Many people from Jerviston cross the existing road to use shops and other facilities in Carfin, including children who attend Our Lady and St Francis Primary School.

The bridge linking Holytown and Newarthill has been used frequently by vandals throwing missiles at cars below.

Carfin Community Council chairman John Telfer said: “Children walking to school will need to get across the dual carriageway. We wouldn’t want a footbridge and think traffic lights would be a better idea.”

The dual carriageway plans will be on public display at Carfin’s John McCormack Community Centre tomorrow (Thursday) from 2.30pm to 8pm and on Saturday from noon to 3pm.

A council spokesman said that while it’s proposed to replace the footbridge between Holytown and Newarthill there are no plans at present for a similar structure to link Carfin and Jerviston, adding: “This is the pre-planning application stage and an opportunity for us to get feedback from people.”

Full story in this week’ Motherwell Times, out now.