World's most expensive cycle path opens this Sunday… for one day only

Sunday 22 May sees one-off chance to use £692 million, 8km road before it's given over to motorists

by Simon_MacMichael   May 13, 2011  

M74 Sign.png

People in Glasgow will next weekend be given the chance to walk, run or cycle on a new facility built in the city at a cost of £692 million, and it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – the facility in question is the northern extension to the M74 motorway, running through the south-eastern suburbs of the city, which is due to open to motor traffic in June.

The stretch of road is just 8km long, giving a cost-per-kilometre of getting on for £90 million, money that you can’t help thinking might be better off being invested in public transport or sustainable transport initiatives.

Still, with road building funded out of general taxation, at least next Sunday 22 May gives an opportunity to non-car users to benefit, albeit briefly, from a facility they have helped fund before it is given over to motorists for their exclusive use.

From what we’ve heard, it could be quite a party, with a number of cycling and environmental groups from west and central Scotland planning to make a day of it, so if you're in that area, why not join them?

The event, billed as the M74 Bike ‘n’ Hike, is limited to 20,000 participants, and is said to be a “one off opportunity to raise funds for charity.” It starts at the west end of the new motorway in Glasgow at the Shields Road Car Park, Scotland Street, with participants able to follow two routes.

The first is a 4km round trip walk, run or cycle as far as Polmadie Road, while a longer, 14km, round-trip to Fullarton Roundabout is also on offer. Elite wheelchair athletes and cyclists assemble at 8.40am for a 9am start, runners at 9.10am for a 9.30am start, and walkers, families and wheelchair users at 10am to start at 10.15am.

Those are the earliest advertised times, but the latest start times are 12 noon for the 14km route and 2pm for the 4km one. The route will be cleared by 4pm.

Entry is £5 and can be made online here – no entries will be accepted on the day – with beneficiary charities listed as Spinal Injuries Scotland, The Lighthouse Club, Macmillan Cancer Support, British Heart Foundation Scotland, Royal National Institute of Blind People, Yorkhill Children’s Foundation, Scottish Association for Mental Health and The Hospices of Scotland.

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

That road is both and eye-sore and a waste of taxpayers money. You don't reduce congestion by building more roads.

You would think Glasgow should have learned something after it ripped it's heart out in the 60s with the M8.

posted by jarvinho [2 posts]
14th May 2011 - 9:29


Nearly 700 million pounds for some road through a city that you could cycle along in less than half an hour. What irony..

Will historians look back in 100 years and comment on the insanity of it all??

posted by don_don [149 posts]
14th May 2011 - 13:45


If this goes off like the Hindhead Tunnel walk-through, going on today, it will be a complete and utter fiasco, a shambles, and a scandal which will rumble on for weeks.

posted by Paul M [336 posts]
14th May 2011 - 13:51


Paul M wrote:
"Hindhead Tunnel walk-through... a complete and utter fiasco, a shambles, and a scandal which will rumble on for weeks".

Sounds interesting. What's up there? Thinking

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
14th May 2011 - 14:21


jarvinho - actually you do. Look up venturi effect in the dictionary


posted by OldRidgeback [2492 posts]
14th May 2011 - 15:43


I can see the Daily Fail headline now: DfT Spends 138 Million Pounds Per Mile on a Cycle Track... Then Closes It After a Single Day.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
16th May 2011 - 12:56


How on earth did it cost that much to build 5 miles of road? Does it seem like less of a waste when it's put in kilometres? Probably.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [294 posts]
17th May 2011 - 21:32

1 Like

Sunday not saturday

richdirector's picture

posted by richdirector [58 posts]
17th May 2011 - 21:57


oops yeah, it does say Sunday in the headline luckily, that was me tweaking the headline originally it didn't mention the day at all.

Wonder what would happen if everyone did turn up on the Saturday though - double the life of the "cycle path"

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4191 posts]
17th May 2011 - 22:13