Protests delay link road plan

Protestors handing over their petition last year. Hundreds more signatures have been added.
Protestors handing over their petition last year. Hundreds more signatures have been added.

Fierce opposition to plans for a road linking Holytown to Eurocentral has led to the project being delayed.

The hold-up was confirmed this week as protestors handed in more than 700 letters of objection to North Lanarkshire Council’s City Deal team.

It brings the total number of objections gathered by Holytown Says No to 2100.

The new road would provide easier access from Holytown to industrial sites in Eurocentral. It would run off a new roundabout in Holytown Road and planners say it would take Eurocentral traffic off Main Street.

Ojectors disagree, claiming more vehicles would be attracted to the village and Sherry Avenue — a residential street — would be used as a short cut. There are also concerns at the loss of greenbelt.

The campaign against the road began last summer, when 1400 objections were submitted, and Pat Clarke, of Holytown Says No, said more opposition followed a public presentation in November. He stressed most of the latest letters are from new objectors.

A council spokesman said: “In response to the community group’s concerns about traffic impact, noise, air quality and biodiversity matters, the council has undertaken a series of additional external studies. This additional work has meant a delay to the overall project, but it is now finalised and a planning application will be submitted in the summer.”

Mr Clarke said: “Very few people are in favour — Eurocentral workers and taxi drivers who say it will be handier — but most people realise that a better connection to the M8 will draw more traffic here.

“People from Mossend and Bellshill are also objecting because of the knock-on effect.”

The road will be an issue in the council elections campaign. Holytown candidates Jim Reddin (Labour) and Carol Cunningham (Conservative) have already voiced their objections to it in leaflets.