Stewartfield Way: Minister quizzed

The project to dual Stewartfield Way could be changed in the light of the climate change emergency, the Scottish Government has said. Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands confirmed that South Lanarkshire Council can change the controversial scheme and said the government would be happy to have discussions with them.

His comments came after questioning in the Scottish Parliament last week by Tory MSP Graham Simpson and East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani. Mr. Simpson asked how the government ensures that City Deal projects help to tackle climate change and followed up by calling on ministers to step in on the Stewartfield Way scheme.

Mr. Simpson said: “New road projects clearly have the potential to make climate change worse and any proposed under City Deals should be backed by robust evidence.”

“Unfortunately, this has not been provided by South Lanarkshire Council for its proposed widening of Stewartfield Way.

“Trees will be uprooted and green space next to the popular James Hamilton Heritage Loch would be built on.”

“There is no obvious traffic problem there to be solved.”

“The council is now consulting the public but their online questionnaire doesn’t even provide the option to say if you are for or against the project.”

“It is a sham.”

Mr. Wheelhouse said that plans could be changed in the light of the climate change emergency and said that Transport Secretary Michael Mathieson would be happy to “engage” with the council.

Mr. Simpson said: “It was an encouraging response.”

“The council needs to go back to the drawing board. There is simply no need to dual the road. They have removed – without asking councilors – the only bit of the scheme that made any sense, the flyover at Kingsgate. That in itself is an affront to democracy and councilors should be hopping mad.”

Mr. Simpson delivered flyers round Stewartfield at the weekend urging people to let the council know what they think.

Mr. Simpson said: “Even though their online questionnaire doesn’t allow for a for or against view, people can still email or write to the council and I am urging them to do so.”