Demand for action over rutted Expressway

ROAD experts are calling for action over the state of Glasgow's Clydeside Expressway due to fears it could be potentially unsafe for drivers.

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Demand for action over fears route could be dangerous for drivers
Demand for action over fears route could be dangerous for drivers

Hundreds of "patchwork" repairs are having to be made every year on the 9-mile-long A road, which is used by around 51,000 drivers daily during the working week.

The work includes emergency pothole and sink hole repairs, as well as work on sunken carriageways, flooding repairs and loose parts of the road.

The road, which runs from the city's Anderston area through to Scotstoun on the outskirts of the city, was opened in 1973 by the Lady Provost Mary Gray.

It has undergone upgrades since. However, there are calls for the council to carry out a review of the route in case there are major underlying problems.

Neil Greig, from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: "Drivers need to be assured that they are driving on a safe route.

"This is Glasgow City Council's flagship road and the signs that it's busy and well-used is a good thing.

"It is not that long since major parts of the road were built so although some of the structures are quite old, most of it is fairly new.

"So it is slightly worrying there are potentially endemic problems underneath it.

"You do wonder if there is something perhaps more going on there.

"Are the foundations appropriate for a road built next to the river? Does more work need to be done?"

Graeme Hendry, the leader of the SNP group in Glasgow and councillor for Garscadden and Scotstounhill, called for a plan to be put in place so that repairs are more permanent.

He said: "I noticed a new pothole had appeared so I know this is happening often.

"We need to do systemic repairs instead of patchwork repairs.

"I'd be in support of the council carrying out a review to see if there are any underlying problems and I'd be open to review the management of it."

A Freedom of Information request to the council shows that between the end of November 2010 and the end of November 2012 there were around 400 repair incidents on the road.

Carriageway safety inspections are carried out 12 times a year.

Ronnie Hunter, vice-chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Scotland, said roads were built for a different level of traffic than is seen now.

He said: "The layers of the road are constructed for an estimated level of traffic and then expected to be resurfaced every 10 years and restructured every 20 years.

"Few roads get this level of maintenance, so what you get are these manhole covers and problem areas and you need to keep on top of this work.

"If it needs to be resurfaced then it just has to be done."

Mr Hunter added that the only solution was to invest in roads.

He said: "There is no quick fix with roads - you have to spend money and take time to get results.

"When you're spending too much money making small repairs you need to think about making bigger changes."

An insider said the council had been trying for years to persuade the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to take over the Expressway – a "nationally important transport link" – and the Clyde Tunnel as part of the strategic road network.

Another attempt will be made soon.

The insider added: "The council cannot afford to run these roads on the funding it has been given."

As the Evening Times has reported, over the past few months, Glasgow's streets have suffered incidents relating to subsidence and sink holes.

Last December a bus became stuck in a sinking part of a bus lane in George Square.

A official council spokesman said the Expressway was "of major strategic importance to Scotland as a whole".

He added: "In the last two years, council work on the Expressway has covered such things as refurbishment of road markings and signage, installation of high friction sur- facing and maintain- ing grass verges."

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