A bridge too far for Lanark residents?

Traffic backed-up at Hyndford Bridge late last week after the Clyde Bridge closure. Will this now be a daily sight?
Traffic backed-up at Hyndford Bridge late last week after the Clyde Bridge closure. Will this now be a daily sight?

Daily traffic chaos for the whole Lanark area has been predicted following the possible permanent closure of the Clyde Bridge.

In addition, not only would the non-replacement of the span, to save £3m, lead to the near-isolation of Pettinain, but it would also wreck plans to make the neighbouring Carstairs Junction station the whole of Clydesdale’s main rail link to Edinburgh.

Those and many other claims of the impact of the bridge’s closure were made at an emergency public meeting held in Pettinain last week.

The fact that it drew an audience of more than 200 people from throughout Clydesdale is an illustration of the depth of local feeling over the issue.

Many at the meeting claimed that South Lanarkshuire Council’s warning that it simply didn’t have the £3m to replace the bridge would turn out to be a false economy.

One local builder questioned the estimated cost, stating his firm could create a new Clyde Bridge for just £50,000!

Lanark-based regional MSP Claudia Beamish commented this week: “The build-up of diverted traffic at Hyndford Bridge due to the closure is already apparent.

“I have asked for the Scottish Government and council to work together to find a way to fund the repairs or the replacement necessary for the bridge to reopen.

“As an interim measure I have asked the council to consider temporary signs to warn of queuing on the Biggar side of Hyndford Bridge as the bend creates a serious risk of an accident if backed up traffic is stationary.

“ I have also asked them to consider altering the timing of the lights to accommodate the heavy flow of traffic,” she added.