The University of Glasgow, via the BBC:
Lead author of the report, Dr Jonathan Olsen, said: “The building of the M74 extension in the south of Glasgow was controversial. There were strong arguments for and against its construction, but ultimately it went ahead.
“One of the arguments in favour was that it could reduce road accidents on local streets.
“In our study we examined police accident data from 1997 to 2014, three years after the new motorway was opened, and found that this predicted reduction in road accident numbers had not materialised.”
This news will no doubt come as a great shock to the nation’s hard-of-thinking fossil fuel addicts. The notion that the new motorway would reduce “accidents” was an article of faith amongst its supporters. Talentless benchwarmers like the SNP’s Fergus Ewing used this fantasy to sit smugly on their high horses and smear the scheme’s opponents as somehow indifferent to road safety:
The Scottish National Party has debated the M74 issue twice. On each occasion, it concluded by a huge majority that the economic and social case for the project is overwhelming … On Saturday, I met a Glasgow cop who said that he is looking forward to not having to take bits of bodies off the roads. I hope that when the Greens reply to my speech, they will recognise the safety argument.
To ask the Scottish Executive what preparations the national health service has made to address any health hazards to local residents arising from the M74 extension. (S2O-6553)
Andy Kerr Labour
No preparations are necessary. A health impact assessment of the air-quality impacts of construction and operation of the M74 completion scheme indicates that it will have no detectable effect on local residents’ health. The scheme is also expected to cut road-traffic accidents by up to 50 a year.
We are in a political Jurassic park, in which the Executive is trying to give birth to a dangerous, ugly white elephant, but the communities are the ones who will live with the consequences of this monster. The public inquiry has been dumped on the hard shoulder while the M74 juggernaut drives over democracy, leaving communities choking in the exhaust fumes.
The mace on the Parliament’s floor has inscribed on it four words. It mentions justice, but where is the environmental justice in the decision? It mentions integrity, but does that mean that we ignore such reports? It mentions compassion, but where is the compassion for those along the route who live with the legacy of toxic waste? Finally, there is democracy, but that should mean keeping the people as part of the process.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Tories all linked arms to blow almost £700million on this useless scheme. This country has one of the worst cyclist casualty rates in Europe, but no Holyrood administration has ever seen fit to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on safer cycling infrastructure. Some lives are evidently worth more than others.