Clyde Tunnel “needs open heart surgery”

A councillor in Glasgow is warning that the city’s Clyde Tunnel will not last ten years if it does not get funding to give it “open heart surgery”.

The Evening Times newspaper reports that Glasgow City Council’s latest request for the Scottish Government to take over responsibility for the road has been denied, leaving management to Glasgow City Council.

 

The newspaper quotes a letter saying, “Whilst the city council maintains its opinion that these assets are of strategic importance to Scotland’s economy, if Glasgow City Council is to continue to operate them safely, an improved funding package which reflects the true and extraordinary cost of doing so is required.”

The letter asked for a review in the grant aided expenditure funding allocation for the bridge is currently the same as any other stretch of road of similar distance across the country.

However it says Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf said he recognised the importance of the road and has asked Transport Scotland to keep working closely with the council in the management of local and trunk roads in the area, but did not agree to council leader’s request.

It quotes Frank McAveety, the leader of the council, as saying, “We have repeatedly raised concerns about the Clyde Tunnel.  Along with the Kingston and Forth Road Bridges, the tunnel is one of the country’s busiest river crossings, supporting more than 65,000 journeys every day – but, unlike the other two, the government isn’t willing to meet the price.

“The tunnel will require around £25 million in essential investment in the near future, over-and-above the £1 million Glasgow taxpayers already spend every year on routine maintenance.

“It is nothing short of outrageous that the cabinet secretary demands that ordinary Glaswegians foot that bill for the rest of the country – even after suffering £130m of budget cuts, which he was happy impose.

“All we are asking for is a fair deal for Glasgow.”

It adds Alistair Watson, whose ward covers the route, said, “The tunnel is in need of major open heart surgery if it is to remain in use at all.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson is quoted as saying, “Glasgow City Council has responsibility for improving, maintaining and repairing the Clyde Tunnel.”

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