Stewartfield Way proposed upgrade
We are developing a project to upgrade Stewartfield Way in East Kilbride as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Programme.
The strategic business case for the project has already been approved by the council and the City Deal Cabinet. We now need to ask the views of the public and all stakeholders to inform how the project will be progressed to the next stage.
Before progressing to the next stage it is important that we seek the views of the public and all stakeholders so that these views inform how the project will be progressed.
Improvements along the route have long been a priority for the council and have been included in local development plans and transport strategies for more than 20 years including the current Local Transport Strategy 2013-2023. The public were fully consulted during the preparation of these plans and strategies which in turn provided a solid basis for its inclusion as a City Deal project for South Lanarkshire.
The proposals are at an early stage and the consultation will gauge public opinion before investing in detailed preparatory and technical assessment work.
What is being proposed
Balancing environmental issues while providing the right conditions to support economic growth is a priority for the council - an effective and efficient transport network is a key element of this.
The Stewartfield Way project includes improved walking and cycling routes as well as offering solutions to manage congestion, which will result in reduced vehicle emissions and helping public transport and freight journeys.
The existing road between Philipshill and Kingsgate roundabouts would be widened to dual carriageway, all to the north of the existing single carriageway, and roundabouts along the route would be enlarged to provide greater capacity. New bridges would also cross the Kittoch Water and Markethill Road. The existing road between Kingsgate and Mavor Avenue roundabouts would be widened and the layout and operation of both these roundabouts, including the existing traffic signals, reviewed.
The project would introduce a new cycle route running the entire length of Stewartfield Way, linking into James Hamilton Heritage Park and to other facilities and routes throughout the town. Bus and pedestrian infrastructure would be improved where possible and it is hoped that the project would also lead to increased active travel, improved park and ride provision and low carbon vehicle infrastructure.
Why this has been proposed
The project is necessary to improve the local and strategic transport network around East Kilbride and South Lanarkshire. Doing this will improve access to and allow the development of sites outlined in the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan.
These sites are essential in generating employment opportunities, creating economic returns and are crucial to sustaining the area's vitality and encouraging growth.
The Stewartfield Way project would create the right conditions for such growth allowing the transport network to better accommodate the additional trips across all modes that new employment locations generate.
Since the project was first identified there have been significant infrastructure upgrades at both its eastern and western extents. The completion of the Glasgow Southern Orbital provided a new link from East Kilbride to the M77 corridor. More recently, significant capacity improvements at Raith Interchange have dramatically improved the traffic flow in the area increasing congestion along Stewartfield Way, in particular at its eastern end around Kingsgate and Mavor Avenue junctions.
The global climate emergency also demands urgent and radical steps towards greater adoption of sustainable transport and active travel measures which discourage unnecessary private car use. Equally though, helping our economy prosper has always been a key priority for Scotland and transport is a key enabler for this to happen. A prosperous economy needs significant transport infrastructure - if done with careful planning, the project will result in improved outcomes for equality, climate and health and wellbeing.
The project complements planned improvements to capacity on wider public transport networks, particularly the East Kilbride/Glasgow rail line upgrade. We are already committed to working with colleagues in Transport Scotland and rail partners to provide improved rail connectivity, accessibility to stations, better transport integration, with improved park and ride facilities and active travel provisions.
In addition,we also hope to introduce better cycle and walking routes throughout the town as identified in the our Cycling Strategy and Active Travel Study.
In this way the Stewartfield Way Transport project is part of wider initiatives to improve all modes of transport in East Kilbride and the town’s connectivity to other parts of the City Region recognising the strategic function Stewartfield Way fulfils in linking with other strategic routes such as the Glasgow Southern Orbital, EK Expressway, M74 and M8.
These projects and Stewartfield Way together will ensure that our transport systems are reliable, fast, convenient, easily accessed and safe. In turn this will provide local business and residents with access to employment and markets and encourage the new development and inward investment that East Kilbride needs to thrive over the coming years.
How the work would affect the area
Any project of this size will have clearly an effect on the local area, including the environment, wildlife, flora and fauna and air quality and potential noise. The environmental impact of the project will be considered in a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with mitigation implemented through the design and construction process where required.
A previous assessment exercise provided an initial environmental appraisal of project elements and outlined areas of particular sensitivity along the route. It also provided possible mitigating measures and a breakdown of likely impacts such as noise bunds/screening. These will be further assessed, refined and implemented as necessary should the project develop further.