YET more road misery is to be heaped on drivers in the Lanark area with one of the major routes in and out of town to be closed for two weeks.
Just five years after a £1.5m upgrade, the Cleghorn Level Crossing is to shut again for “essential repairs”, sealing off Lanark’s main route to and from Forth and the east, the A706, from Saturday until Monday, August 15.
The 2006 closure of the road for two weeks to have a new barrier system installed caused widespread traffic disruption, this being one of the busiest routes both for local and commuter traffic.
This latest closure comes during a long period of road upheaval elsewhere in the town as Scottish Power continues its new cable-laying from Stonebyres to Whitelees Road.
The latest Cleghorn Level Crossing closure will, as during the last occasion, mean a lot of extra traffic pressure on the villages along the official diversion route of the A721–A70–A743, namely Ravenstruther and Carstairs Village.
And, also as in the 2006 closure, it is being officially described as “essential” and unavoidable if the safety of the travelling public is to be protected.
And the roads authority, South Lanarkshire Council, states that it has timed the closure in the middle of the holiday period to cut the disruption to a minimum.
This closure, said a council spokesman, was part of a joint operation by the roads authority and Network Rail.
He went on: “This will include essential repairs to the level crossing apparatus, drainage repairs and resurfacing works within the area of the level crossing.
“The anti-skid surfacing on the approaches to both Cleghorn Level Crossing and Cleghorn Bridge will also be replaced.”
The announcement came with an apology for yet more local road disruption from the chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s enterprise resources committee and Lanark Town Group, Councillor Chris Thompson.
He said: “We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused to the public.
“However, this work is essential and is being carried out at a time when the roads are usually that bit quieter.
“We would ask that people remain patient and use the diversion route which will be clearly signed.”
Repeated disruptive roadworks in and around Lanark and their impact on the town’s shopping economy has prompted moves to re-constitute a town merchants or traders association to give Lanark’s commercial community a single voice to talk to the authorities and utility companies with.