THE £22.7 million transformation of a busy Scottish road has officially begun. 

Construction on Aurs Road between Barrhead and Newton Mearns is officially underway following a ground breaking ceremony on Friday.

Aurs Road – which will be closed for 12 months – will be transformed from a single carriage to a safer, straighter road with a new active travel route and waterside promenade overlooking Balgray Reservoir.

The National:

Once work is complete, the road will also bring a more direct local route between Barrhead and Newton Mearns by straightening out two sections of the road and replacing a weak bridge.

A 4km circular walking and cycling route around Balgray Reservoir will also be created as part of the works. 

Essential reservoir maintenance will also be carried out while the closure is in place.

The National:

Led by East Renfrewshire Council, the £22.68m project is being funded through £12.72m from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is made up of £5.5m in funding by both the UK and Scottish governments, and £1.72m from East Renfrewshire Council.

East Renfrewshire Council leader Owen O'Donnell met with civil engineering experts GRAHAM who have been appointed to carry out the works. 

O'Donnell, said: “Since announcing our plans for transforming Aurs Road, we’ve had a fantastic response from residents who are excited about the delivery of a much needed improved and straightened road with active travel link.

"The artist’s impression really helps people visualise what a transformative impact this project will have for generations to come and while the road closure will no doubt cause inconvenience over the next year, the end result really will be worthwhile for all.

"It’s been fantastic to meet the team from GRAHAM onsite and hear about the significant community benefits they plan to deliver including; jobs for local residents, apprenticeships, work experience, career events and support to local community projects."

Jim Armour, GRAHAM contracts manager, added: “We’re delighted to be officially starting work on transforming Aurs Road – to an improved and straightened road with active travel link.

"This is a project our team is proud to be delivering, and we recognise the importance it will have for residents and users.

"We look forward to working collaboratively with East Renfrewshire Council, stakeholders and the local community throughout this scheme – leaving a lasting legacy”.

The National:

Funding is also being provided by Transport Scotland through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, the Scottish Government’s Bridge Fund and developer contributions from new house building projects in the area.

Karen McGregor, Scotland director for Sustrans, said: “Improving active travel links between communities outside of our cities is vital.

"This project does exactly that by delivering an accessible and direct walking, wheeling and cycling link between Barrhead and Newton Mearns for residents and visitors alike.

"We’re absolutely delighted to see work now starting on this project and grateful to all those who have taken part in making it a success."

Scottish Government Energy Secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome the beginning of construction work on an improved and safer walking, wheeling and cycling route through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

"Better active travel options can drive a greener economy and help us to reach net-zero by 2045. We want to see more people and businesses benefiting from the regeneration, opportunities and sustainable economic growth which the city deal is delivering."