M-way night noise row rumbles on

Work at Raith Interchange is due to last another two years.
Work at Raith Interchange is due to last another two years.

Bosses of the M74 upgrading project have been accused of breaking a promise to avoid night working near homes in Bothwell.

Last month Central Scotland MSP Margaret MItchell revealed residents’ anger at being kept awake by noise from the Laighlands Road compond near Raith Interchange.

She raised the matter with Keith Brown, Cabinet Minister for Transport, but has been told there was never an agreement in place to stop work at 11pm.

Mrs Mitchell has now accused those managing the project, due to last for another two years, of a ‘lack of transparency and accountability’.

The MSP said homes have been affected by floodlighting and there have also been problems with dust and lorries parking illegally. She claimed the original plans have changed with a small reservoir due to be created to take motorway water being replaced by two slip roads.

Mrs Mitchell said: “Residents expected disruption and therefore negotiated a working pattern, beginning at 6.30am and ending at 11pm.

“They were told at a consultation event there would be no 24/7 hour working and everything possible would be done to mitigate disruption. Transport Scotland is now denying this agreement ever occurred.

“Residents are fully entitled to enjoy their property without being subjected to an unacceptable level of noise.

“Furthermore, it now seems the original plans consulted on have had significant changes made. There seems, therefore, to be a real lack of transparency and accountability about the management of this contract.”

Transport Scotland chief executive David Middleton was ‘unaware’ of any ‘compromise’ with residents, but said in a letter to Mrs Mitchell: “Where practicable the contractor will try to finish works before 11pm.

“Night work is required from time to time. Mitigation measures are required to be provided to the local authorities. This liaison is taking place and no concerns have been raised.

“Initially, night work is scheduled for weekends in the field adjacent to the Raith compound. This involves raising the ground level to allow construction of a motorway slip road.

“It is likely that night work will also be required on existing roads to allow connections to be made to new roads. These works have yet to programmed.”