Council insists gas works stop due to traffic congestion

Traffic management measures have been removed from Hamilton Road as work continues in High Road.
Traffic management measures have been removed from Hamilton Road as work continues in High Road.

Scotia Gas Networks have been told to stop working on Hamilton Road in Motherwell until they produce a better traffic management scheme.

There were huge tailbacks at the weekend as the £500,000 project to replace metal gas mains with new plastic pipes all across the town moved into one of the main thoroughfares.

The situation was exacerbated because no provision had been made to accommodate the bus stop at the library.

Motherwell West councillor Michael Ross complained to North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Paul Jukes.

He said: “The cones were placed in Hamilton Road at the main bus stop in such a way that when buses stopped at the library traffic couldn’t get past. This seems ridiculous. Either the cones need arranged in such a way that traffic can flow or the bus stop needs moved.”

The bus stop and the one across the road at the Royal Bank of Scotland were later closed.

However, this wasn’t enough to satisfy the council who met with SGN on Monday to tell them to clear the street.

A council memo read: “An officer from roads and transportation met SGN and their traffic management contractor ConeWorx on site to investigate why the traffic management was causing the issue it obviously was.

“The result of that meeting was that all traffic management was removed from Hamilton Road and will not return until SGN have identified what their next steps are.

“Further, when the notice is resubmitted we require they work with SPT to ensure the bus stops, if affected, are formally suspended and alternative stops provided that don’t interfere with the works and traffic flows, something that it would seem was amiss.”

SGN is confident the project will still be completed by the end of October and is currently concentrating on working in High Road and Avon Street.

A spokeswoman for SGN said: “This essential work began in April and, all being well, we anticipate it will be completed around the end of October. All of our work is carried out in consultation with the local authority.

“On Sunday our work moved into Hamilton Road. For everyone’s safety, temporary traffic lights were put in place and the junctions with High Road and Orchard Street were closed, while we carried out some trial excavations.

“We understand Hamilton Road is a very busy route in Motherwell and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by our work.

“We always aim to minimise disruption as much as possible and our work here was planned to take place during the summer school holidays.

“We’ve since been able to remove the temporary traffic lights on this road. Further work we need to carry out in Hamilton Road is currently being planned, and we’ll provide more information regarding this work before it is due to start.

“We’ve now moved into High Road for approximately four weeks, as well as working in Avon Street until around the end of August and in Airbles Road for a short time during the October holiday.

“We would like to thank residents and road users for their continued patience while we complete our essential work.”