Friday, 14 December 2007

"Building more urban motorways is not the future"

From the Herald:

Transport planning for Games is flawed

The recent correspondence about the M74 and Glasgow subway extension (Letters, December 12 and 13) for transport to the 2014 Commonwealth Games contrasts with London's approach to the 2012 Olympics.

The London Olympic Delivery Authority aims to encourage 100% of spectators to travel to the Olympics by public transport, walking and cycling.

Transport links will be transformed around Stratford, with extensions to the London Docklands Light Railway, a rebuilt East London line, and 140mph trains on High Speed Line 1.

In marked contrast, in Glasgow the M74 extension is described by James Kelly MSP as a "crucial part of the Commonwealth Games infrastructure". In fact, this urban motorway, a product of 1960s transport thinking, would choke the local roads around the Games venues with more traffic and parked cars, giving an international demonstration of how not to plan for major events.

Glasgow has the biggest rail network outside London. Most of the Games venues are near railway lines. Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has an excellent opportunity to re-establish Glasgow as the "dear green place" by providing new stations to serve the sporting locations. As discussed by your correspondents, the best way to serve Parkhead is by extending the Argyle Line and introducing a new fleet of high-performance urban Metro trains on a Dalmuir-Parkhead east/west route.

This would also serve the Scotstoun and SECC locations and connect at Glasgow Central with trains to Mount Florida for Hampden. The planned National Hockey Centre could also be served from the Argyle Line by reopening the station at Glasgow Green. The Ibrox and Kelvinhall venues are near subway stations.

In a city with a low level of car ownership and a poor health record, building more urban motorways is not the future.

The aim of politicians should be to ensure that the Common-wealth Games leave a lasting legacy of urban regeneration and sustainable transport.

Dr John McCormick, Chairman, Scottish Association for Public Transport, 11 Queens Crescent, Glasgow.

And Bill Forbes comments:

One flaw in the transport planning for the Commonwealth Games may be that we are only now appearing to address the issue.

The stated Games Budget is £298 million (SOURCE – Glasgow2014 web site ).

The “SPT has been told by consultants Grant Thornton that the new route to the east will cost between £60m to £120m . Those costs could soar , however, if there are any problems with the tunnels…” (SOURCE – The Herald 12/12/07 )

Another flaw may be that the SPT appear now to be taking a lead on the matter:

SPT chairman Alistair Watson today revealed: "We will deliver the East End extension for 2014. I am being unequivocal about that ." (SOURCE – Evening Times 12/11/07 )

Does anybody else get this uneasy feeling that we have another Partick Interchange in the offing?

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