TRAFFIC on the A71 at Horsley Brae has been difficult for years - particularly during the evening rush hour.
North Lanarkshire Council have been seeking a solution to alleviate the problem and originally came up with 9 different options to be considered; from a roundabout to traffic lights, to a flyover, to closing the junction entirely.
The council considered the options and decided that their preferred choice was to widen the A71 northbound to two lanes; one dedicated to vehicles travelling straight ahead and one – a filter lane - for turning right.
Modelling of the proposed scheme showed that northbound queues would reduce by more than half.
However, there could be an increase in journey times on the southbound carriageway of the A71, due to the increase in traffic volume from the B7011.
The council have admitted that due to the location of the road being relatively rural, community engagement ahead of the decision “was limited”.
Whilst it is the case that the land in the immediate vicinity is largely agricultural, the proposals will have a huge effect on local communities, particularly residents in Overtown.
I am disappointed that the proposed solution - which appears to only go some way to solving the problem – has not been properly consulted by those who are likely to be impacted the most.
Please get in contact with me if you wish to share your thoughts about the proposals.
Below are the full range of options, including the Council's preferred; Option 2:
Option 2: An altered priority junction on the A71 with the B7011 remaining the minor arm at the junction. The south arm of the junction is widened to two lanes, with one dedicated straight ahead and one dedicated right turn into the B7011, stretching for around 170m. No changes to the B7011 would be proposed.
Option 4: A three arm roundabout serve all existing traffic movements would be located with its centre approximately 50m south of the existing junction. The south approach to the roundabout would be widened on the west side to provide a two lane approach with a dedicated right turn lane at the roundabout. The B7011 approach would be realigned to the south to provide the necessary entry deflection at the roundabout. A widened east verge would be included on the realigned north approach to provide the required visibility back from the B7011 approach.
Option 5: Option 5 is a signalised junction where the A71 meets the B7011. This junction arrangement included the widening on the west side of the A71, south of the junction as per Option2. This option also includes additional widening on the south east corner to allow for the provision of a right turn lane from B7011 to A71 northbound.
Option 6A: This option is a partial grade separated option. Option 6A takes the traffic heading north to south on the A71 off the main carriageway and onto a dedicated flyover. This allows the priorities at the junction to be changed meaning that the major movement is the A71 south/B7011 movement,