East End Motorway?

As much as I love Glasgow, it’s a city scarred by motorways.  You would think that by now there are enough roads ploughing through residential areas and public spaces. However, there are plans to build yet another motorway connecting a new road near Celtic Park and the M8 in the North of the city. The motorway has dubiously been dubbed ‘regeneration route’, supposedly supporting the deprived East End it will cut right through. Meanwhile, it is difficult to imagine in what way a pedestrian unfriendly giant road will benefit the locals, especially when 57% of them don’t have access to a car.

This plan seems out-dated, as if it was made in an era when cars were still unquestionably seen as the future. Nowadays, thanks to the developments in science and technology, there are many other, better ways to commute. But instead of investing in improvements of our public transport system, such as an Oyster-like smartcard travel system for busses, ferries, trains and the subway which was promised to be fully operational before the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the council is planning to waste their money on roads, damaging the environment and surrounding communities.

The planned £70 m pounds could be used in so many better ways, for instance by finally developing the East End subway extension. Although this was also promised to be finished by 2014, there are still no signs of this extension, something that could properly be called ‘regeneration route’.  The subway benefits the community, is environmentally-friendly and hardly damages public spaces, but of course it is much more reasonable to invest in a road that will allow commuters to save a few minutes of their travelling time by speeding through the East End. It’s too bad the council will probably not understand irony.

[Aike Jansen]

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