M74 link opens ahead of schedule

The new extension of the M74 motorway has opened eight months ahead of schedule and between £15 and £20 million under budget.

The five-mile stretch, which links the M74 at Fullarton Road junction and the M8 motorway west of the Kingston Bridge on the south side of Glasgow, is expected to cut 10 minutes from motorists' journeys.

The reduced running time will obviously help drivers save money towards their fuel expenses and meet theircar insurance premium costs.

Transport Scotland's robust management of the works has delivered savings for the taxpayer, according to Scottish infrastructure secretary Alex Neil.

"The M74 completion is the largest infrastructure project on the ground in Scotland and it's opening eight months early and between £15 and £20 million under budget. This will mean significant savings for Scottish taxpayers and that drivers will be able to enjoy the benefits of this crucial piece of infrastructure several months ahead of schedule," he said.

But critics warned that the extension would lead to more air and noise pollution. Stan Blackley, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, called it "one of the worst environmental decisions since the beginning of devolution".

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