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Council Urges Patience Over Traffic Delays

Renfrewshire Council is telling drivers it is doing all it can to help shift the rush-hour traffic caused by the current roadworks on the M8.

Transport Scotland – the Scottish Government’s transport agency – is carrying out extensive bridge-strengthening work on the White Cart Viaduct, which has seen one lane closed in each direction since Friday evening.

This has caused large volumes of traffic to spread out on to surrounding roads at morning and evening rush hours.

Although it is Transport Scotland which is responsible for trunk roads, such as the M8 and the A737, the council oversees local roads in the area.

A council spokesperson said: “We understand and share the frustration of those drivers who have experienced delays on the area’s roads this week.

“We hope people will appreciate that the number of vehicles which are trying to pass through the same roads has made it impossible to achieve a smooth flow of traffic.

“But we would like to reassure the public that we are working very hard, and using all the tools at our disposal, to alleviate this congestion as best we can.”

Most traffic lights in Paisley and Renfrew town centres are connected to a computer system controlled by council staff based at Renfrewshire House in Paisley.

Staff there have this week been monitoring cameras at key junctions in both town centres and adjusting signals to accommodate the build-up of traffic.

But while they have been working from 7am until 7pm to deal with issues, the sheer volume of traffic has put limits on what they are able do.

The council spokesperson added: “This stretch of the M8 is one of the busiest bits of road in Scotland. Each lane on the White Cart Viaduct takes an average of around 1,700 vehicles per hour.

“With two lanes shut, that means thousands of vehicles are being displaced – either on to the rest of the motorway or on to side roads.

“One problem we have is that town-centre roads are linked. If you give one green light a little bit longer, it has a knock-on effect on all other directions.

“But we are working very closely with our colleagues at Transport Scotland to improve things. One point we want to stress is that there are diversions in place.

“Drivers who want to get on to the M8 east at the St James interchange can instead go down the A737 to the Linclive roundabout at Linwood, turn round, and come back up the dual carriageway and on to the motorway that way.

“Should people follow this route, they should find their journey time will be quicker than it would be by trying to pass through congested town-centre roads elsewhere in the area.”

The work being carried out on the White Cart Viaduct is the third stage of a £30million programme by Transport Scotland to make essential strengthening works to the 46-year-old bridge, and is due to last for ten weeks.