Could Germany have the answer to Lanark’s traffic jams?

Roadworks at Mousebank Road last week caused tailbacks beyond Steel's Cross.
Roadworks at Mousebank Road last week caused tailbacks beyond Steel's Cross.

Could our soon-to-be-ex European Union partners in Germany have the answer to Lanark’s frequent traffic jams?

That question was raised in the aftermath of yet more traffic disruption last week after utility workers made the latest of many visits to Steel’s Cross to dig up the road to make repairs.

The issue of persistent traffic disruption in the royal burgh due to such works was discussed at Monday night’s monthly meeting of Lanark Community Council, and the suggestion of taking a leaf out of Germany’s book was made.

Council chairman Frank Gunning said that there seemed to be “endless” works going on in the stretch of road between Steel’s Cross at the top of Kirkfieldbank Brae and Lanark Cross.

“I know it is because so many different utility pipelines and cables pass through that part of Lanark, and I know they have to be fixed, but it just causes jam after jam.

“The utility companies, of course, have to quickly repair things like gas leaks, but it seems they can declare any repair they want to carry out as an emergency and go ahead with them when it suits them.

“There must be some way of organising these things better.”

Clydesdale North councillor Julia Marrs said that, as the roads authority, South Lanark felt just as frustrated with the repeated works as local motorists.

Community council member Ed Archer said that he had looked at German methods of limiting road disruption and suggested they could be adopted here.

He said that in Germany, there was far more co-operation between utilities and with roads authorities.

“What they do there is that the gas, electricity, water authorities all talk to one another and, if one needs to dig up a road to carry out repairs in any given stretch of road, they ask the others if they want to carry out works too while the road is excavated,” he said.

“They then make a joint approach to the local roads authority to get the go-ahead.

“It’s a far better system than we have here, which just seems to be a free-for-all.”

He admitted to having a personal grudge, stating: “In the past year, BT seems to have dug up Hope Street where I live more times than I’ve had hot dinners.”

He added that recently works had taken place at 5.45am and finished about half an hour later, causing an very early rise for his family and other residents.