Road works to boost job prospects
Published Friday, 31 August 2012
More than £4million in road improvements are being invested at Hamilton International Park to attract new businesses and jobs.
The council has been working with the developer of HIP, HFD Group Limited, to ensure the road network can cope with future employment at the site following the completion of the final development.
HIP is currently home to more than 80 companies which employ a combined workforce of 6300 staff.
With 1.3m square feet of development space including high quality office and industrial buildings, when full the Park could accommodate more than 10,000 staff.
The overall roads improvement scheme, which will cost around £4.3m, consists of four phases.
Phase One is the widening and installation of traffic signals on Douglas Street, High Blantyre at the junction with the A725 east bound On / Off ramp along with capacity improvement works on the roundabout at the junction with Hillhouse Road and the widening of the A725 west bound off ramp at the approach to this roundabout.
Phase Two, which is now complete, consisted of the resurfacing and island repositioning of the West bound approach to the roundabout on Hillhouse Road at East Avenue
Phase Three is the improvement to the merge of the A725 west bound on ramp.
Phase Four, currently underway, consists of the widening to two lanes in each direction of Hillhouse Road between Technology Avenue and the roundabout at the junction of Douglas Street, along with the introduction of a new set of traffic signals at the junction of Hillhouse road and Technology Avenue.
The current Phase Four works are expected to last until the end of October with Phases One and Three following on from this with a possible overlap. Councillor Chris Thompson, the chair of the council's Enterprise Resources Services, said: "This is a tremendous example of the public and private sector working together to hopefully bring new jobs and businesses to the area.
"Improved transport links are essential to any expansion of HIP and we are delighted to be able to undertake this work.
"Every effort is being made to keep disruption and inconvenience to an absolute minimum during the works.
"We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused to road users and would ask for people's patience during the works."
And Stephen Lewis, Development Director for the HFD Group, added: "We continually review potential improvement initiatives at the Park that would benefit our occupiers.
"With so many new employees joining the Park recently and in the next 12 months, including 650 jobs at John Lewis and another 1000 jobs at ScottishPower, it is important that the enhancement of the Parks infrastructure is completed to meet that increased demand.
"We are delighted that our longstanding good working relationship with South Lanarkshire Council has continued with the implementation of this innovative partnership of the public and private sector to deliver these infrastructure improvements to not only HIP but the wider South Lanarkshire area."
The money for the improvements is from a mixture of sources, including the council's General Services Capital Budget, the developer and a loan from the council which will be repayable by the developer.