Opponents angry at new road ‘done deal’

Villagers during a protest against the road last year
Villagers during a protest against the road last year

The controversial Holytown link road has moved a step closer after funding was approved — but opponents insist they will continue to fight it.

North Lanarkshire Council says the road and new parking and public transport arrangements would create 400 jobs by improving access, parking and public transport at Eurocentral and Maxim Business Park.

A planning application for the road has yet to go before the council which has already received more than 2000 protest letters from objectors.

They claim it would destroy precious green space, lead to more traffic in the village and encourage drivers to look for short cuts through housing areas.

The council said this week the “outline business case” for the road and Eurocentral Park, Ride and Share projects has been approved by the Glasgow City Deal Region Cabinet which comprises council leaders from various areas including North Lanarkshire.

The schemes are part of a wider programme of support to improve access and connectivity in the A8/M8 corridor area between Baillieston and Newhouse.

The council says there is room for “significant expansion” at Eurocentral, but a new road is key to this.

Councillor Allan Graham, convener of the enterprise committee, said: “The investment will help attract new businesses to Eurocentral and Maxim Business Park.

“It will also assist in supporting improved bus services to open up job opportunities to more residents in the surrounding areas. The link road will take heavy traffic away from Holytown Main Street and nearby residential areas.”

However, Holytown Says No, which has been leading the opposition for more than a year, accused the council of trying to present a “done deal scenario” when the huge number of objections have still to be put before the planning committee.

A spokesman said: “If new businesses cannot be attracted to Eurocentral at present, the construction of this road will not guarantee additional investment.

“What it will guarantee is the destruction of the only natural green space left in Holytown.”

The group claims low occupancy rates at Maxim Park are due to relatively high property costs and have “very little to do with access”.

It is scornful of the park and ride plan, saying it has monitored a bus service that serves Eurocentral and “only a handful” of passengers use it.

On the traffic issue in Holytown, the spokesman added: “The main heavy traffic through Holytown comes from haulage contractors in the Legbranock/Newhouse area, not from Eurocentral.

“The link road will do nothing to reduce this and will actually encourage smaller delivery van traffic, such as that from the new Amazon warehouse, as well as heavy traffic through residential areas in Holytown, Mossend and New Stevenston.”