M8 'Missing Link' Officially Opened By First Minister
14 August 2017, 14:31 | Updated: 14 August 2017, 14:34
The new section of the M8 motorway has been officially opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The so-called missing link of Scotland's busiest motorway, between Newhouse and Baillieston, opened to traffic in April.
It was the latest stage in the £500 million M8, M73 and M74 Motorway Improvements Project.
Transport Scotland said the project, which was designed to tackle traffic congestion problems in central Scotland, is already cutting journey times for motorists by up to 20 minutes.
The body said vehicles are now travelling along the M8 at an average speed of almost 70mph, even during busy periods, and it expects to see a reduction in road accidents as a result of the work.
Speaking at the Maxim Business Park at Eurocentral on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said: "The M8 is a vital link in the central belt and this newly completed section will help connect people to business, leisure and education opportunities and also creates a better environment for companies to do business.
"Businesses are already reporting a journey time saving of up to 20 minutes between Scotland's biggest cities and a similar saving for those using Raith junction. These improvements and additional road capacity will ensure our economy has room to grow.
"With the completion of this project and three others - the Queensferry Crossing, the first section of the A9 dualling and the Aberdeen bypass - by next spring, more than 250km of new roads will have been completed in the last 10 years - representing a total investment in construction of £2.81 billion."