Grahamston residents breathe sigh of relief as lorry nightmare comes to an end

The official opening ceremony
The official opening ceremony

A 10-year wait to stop giant supermarket lorries travelling just metres away from residents’ front doors has come to an end.

Residents in Grahamston have warmly welcomed the opening of the new £1 million Hope Street bridge.

Transport Minister Keith Brown carried out the official ceremony on Tuesday, marking the end of months of work.

The bridge will act as the new route for lorries and HGVs delivering to Morrisons supermarket, diverting traffic away from Meeks Road.

This week, members of Grahamston Community Council said they were delighted with the new development.

Chairman Charles McKerral said: “We are very happy. This will make a big difference as it will stop lorries going up and down our streets.

“The old bridge just couldn’t support the weight of these lorries, so they had to use the residential streets.

“It’s something that the people of Grahamston have put up with for a long time, simply because there was no real alternative.

“At the time Morrisons opened, we were very upset. There were petitions against it, and there’s been a cost that the people of Meeks Road and surrounding streets have been paying ever since.

“However, we hoped the bridge would be re-built eventually.”

The old bridge closed to traffic in May with the original structure demolished in June.

On September 20, the road re-opened, five weeks ahead of the planned October 24 completion date.

The refurbishment was carried out to allow the installation of overhead railway power cables, but, for local residents, the real benefit is that the bridge will be used for supermarket delivery traffic.

Mr McKerral added: “I joined the community council because of the Morrisons issue; I hadn’t even heard of community councils before that.

“It’s taken 10 years, but all’s well that ends well. The streets are back to the way they were before Morrisons arrived.”

Transport Minister, Keith Brown said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the successful construction of the new Hope Street bridge. I am delighted to announce the bridge has been completed ahead of schedule and with minimal impact to the local community.”

Councillor Craig R Martin, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for the environment, said: “The programme of improvement works across Scotland can only benefit the economy and visitors to the area.

“The refurbished bridge will greatly benefit people in the local area as it will stop HGVs from passing only metres from their homes.

“I want to thank the local residents for their patience during the refurbishment stage.”