THE first major transport project of a multi-billion pound city deal has opened in South Lanarkshire.

Cathkin Relief Road, the new carriageway between junctions of the existing Cathkin Bypass/Burnside Road and Fernhill Road/Croftfoot Road/ Blairbeth Road in Rutherglen is now fully open.

It is the first project of the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Pupils from Burnside, Cathkin, Spittal and St Mark’s Primary Schools were the first to visit the new road which features a 2m wide footway on the south side, and a 3m wide combined cycleway/ footway on the north side.

Councillor Jackie Burns, depute Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Jackie Burns, said: “We are delighted to be able to deliver the first major transport project of the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

“Cathkin Relief Road supports the council’s objective of enhancing the local and strategic road network.

“It will improve infrastructure to employment areas across Rutherglen and Cambuslang and reduce traffic impacts on neighbouring residential type roads.

“The road will also reduce congestion at peak times which has the knock-on effect of also reducing carbon emissions.

“Another benefit will be an improvement to public transport reliability and bus/rail integration in the area, primarily because the new road will remove congestion and through traffic from existing routes.

“The capacity and quality of the wider footpath and cycle network in the area has been enhanced which will improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “This is a landmark day for the Glasgow City Region City Deal with the first transport project completed and set to improve local access to employment and relieve pressure on Rutherglen town centre.