Start date confirmed for ambitious £22.68m Aurs Road project
Work to upgrade and improve Aurs Road between Barrhead and Newton Mearns is set to start on 8 January 2024.
The route is set to be transformed – from a winding, single carriage road to a safer, straighter road with a new active travel route and stunning waterside promenade overlooking Balgray Reservoir.
To facilitate these significant improvements, the road will be closed for around 12 months until December 2024. Aurs Road will be closed from the junction of Springfield Road in Barrhead to the junction of Stewarton Road in Newton Mearns. Diversion routes will be in place via Stewarton Road, Nitshill Road and Darnley Road.
Led by East Renfrewshire Council, the ambitious £22.68 million project will be funded through £12.72 million from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is made up of £5.5 million in funding by both the UK and Scottish governments and £1.72 million from East Renfrewshire Council. The rest of the funding is 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.
Once complete, the planned improvements to Aurs Road will:
- Form a safer, more direct local route between Barrhead and Newton Mearns by straightening out two sections of the road and replacing a weak road bridge.
- Create an impressive waterside promenade with views overlooking Balgray Reservoir as part of a 2km active travel path connecting Barrhead and Newton Mearns to and through Dams to Darnley Country Park and providing a safe link for walking, wheeling and cycling.
- Create a long-awaited 4km circular walking and cycling route around Balgray Reservoir for park visitors for the first time.
- Pave the way for new visitor facilities at Dams to Darnley Country Park.
Essential reservoir maintenance works will also be carried out on behalf of Scottish Water while the road closure is in place.
East Renfrewshire Council Leader, Owen O’Donnell said: “I’m delighted that work will be starting in January on the ambitious Aurs Road project. The delivery of a much improved and straightened road with active travel link – improving connections between Barrhead and Newton Mearns is fantastic news for our communities.
“I am excited to see work on the promenade and circular loop around Balgray Reservoir progress, making Dams to Darnley Country Park a more accessible and desirable location to go for a walk or cycle. While I appreciate that there will be some inconvenience caused by the road closure, the transformative impact of this project for generations to come will make the end result worthwhile.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “It’s great news that work will soon be starting on the Aurs Road upgrade. When complete communities will enjoy improved connectivity, safer journeys, better access to Balgray Reservoir and attractive walking and cycling opportunities.
The UK Government is supporting the project with £5.5 million investment as part of the £524 million Glasgow City Region Deal. This week the UK Government also announced an additional £122 million of Levelling Up funding in Scotland, bringing a total of more than £2.7 billion investment to continue to level up across the whole of Scotland.”
Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome the imminent construction of this new and safer route between Barrhead and Newton Mearns, with an investment of more than £14 million by the Scottish Government. The new paths will transform the active travel experience for communities in the area and create a more pleasant environment for people to enjoy. We are providing £5.5 million through the Glasgow City Region Deal, part of our commitment of over £500 million to support the region’s economy, with further significant funding coming from the Places for Everyone programme which contributes to our record funding for active travel in 2023/24.”
Grant Manager for Sustrans, Tim Aeberli, said: “It’s fantastic to see work now beginning on the construction of this project. Once complete, the communities of Barrhead and Newton Mearns will not only be connected through a new walking, wheeling, and cycling link, but will also benefit from all new opportunities to actively explore Balgray Reservoir. We’d like to thank everyone involved in the local area for their patience and ongoing commitment”..
Contractor Graham Construction Ltd has been appointed to carry out the construction.
Jim Armour, GRAHAM Contracts Manager said: “We’re delighted to be appointed by East Renfrewshire Council to deliver the Aurs Road project. Our track record of successfully delivering civil engineering projects stands as testament to our commitment for the highest standards of work, professionalism, and technical expertise. We are proud to be East Renfrewshire Council delivery partner on this transformative project. With works set to start on the 8th January, the project team will be working hard to ensure the site is ready for the main build phase – we’re looking forward to playing our part in this pivotal project and leaving a lasting legacy.”
The Glasgow City Region City Deal is a £1.13 billion partnership between eight local authorities, the Scottish Government and the UK Government. It includes 27 projects, 21 of them major infrastructure schemes. These will drive economic growth across the City Region and create 15,000 construction jobs while work is underway and 29,000 jobs when work is finished.
As part of the £44 million Glasgow City Region City Deal investment in East Renfrewshire, new business premises and job opportunities have been created and plans are under way to build a new train station in Barrhead and enhance visitor facilities at Dams to Darnley Country Park.
For further information and updates: https://www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/city-deal-projects