Major works which saw the closure of a busy road in East Kilbride finished ahead of schedule - but not without causing mayhem say angry residents.

A section of the A726 Greenhills /Strathaven Road closed on November 27 and was due to remain closed until December 5 after a £23 million road widening scheme as part of the City Deal fell more than a year behind.

Work began on the controversial dualling at the beginning of 2019 and the total closure was to expediate works.

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But the road, which was closed between Carrigan’s Eating House and 100 metres south of Torrance Roundabout, reopened ahead of schedule on December 2.

However, those living in the nearby Auldhouse said the closure was an "accident waiting to happen" on back roads in the area and say it was "ill-thought out" by road bosses at South Lanarkshire Council.

Although not an official diversion, many drivers choose to go via the backroads through Auldhouse in journeys between East Kilbride and Strathaven and elsewhere.

One angry resident told Lanarkshire Live: "My family live in a rural area between Strathaven and East Kilbride.

"Our road is a B-class road with limited passing places.

"On average in a day we have about 100 cars, if that passing by. During this closure we had close to 1000 cars a day passing.

"Our grass verges were destroyed we had to pull numerous cars out of ditches and road rage was an every day occurrence.

"We know this wasn't the official diversion but it got to the stage where cyclists were scared to use the road, we didn't want to take the dog out walks and pedestrians couldn't use it. It was horrendous.

"To me it seemed no effective contingency plan was put in place to the detriment of the rural residents.

"The roads department did not think this out, which they have had plenty of time to do given the project has been running for nearly two years.

"And to top it off it's still not finished. And we fear more diversions may be put in place in the new year, nobody living here could go through this again.

"The council were inundated with complaints from rural residents and then lo and behold it re-opened early with not a huge amount done by the looks of it. It's shambolic with no planning for rural communities given the volume of traffic that ended up using our roads."

Colin Park, head of roads and transportation at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “The closure was lifted on Thursday evening, December 2, three days ahead of schedule.

“Closing the road had meant that the works could be completed quickly and more efficiently, causing significantly less disruption than temporary traffic signals would have done over a much longer period.

“Close working with public transport partners and operators, nearby businesses and residents kept disruption to the minimum possible.

“The main elements of the project are now nearing completion, and this will be communicated further in the coming weeks.”

The council added that there are no further full closures at this location planned.

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