A MAJOR road between Barrhead and Newton Mearns is set to be closed for 12 months next year.

It comes after East Renfrewshire Council announced that work to upgrade and improve Aurs Road between the two towns is set to start on Monday, January 8, 2024.

According to the local authority, 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 waterside promenade overlooking Balgray Reservoir.

To allow the work to take place, the road will be shut 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.

Being led by the council, the "ambitious" £22.68million project will be funded through £12.72million from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is made up of £5.5million in funding by both the UK and Scottish governments and £1.72million from East Renfrewshire Council.

The rest of the funding is being 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.

During the closure, essential reservoir maintenance works will also be carried out on behalf of Scottish Water.

The council also claim that once completed, 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.

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 £5.5million investment as part of the £524million Glasgow City Region Deal. 

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray added: “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."

While 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”.

Contactor 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”.