Table 1

Claims related to health and wellbeing made for and against the new motorway


Claims made in favour of intervention

Claims made against intervention


Will create up to 20,000 jobs by enabling regeneration and encouraging inward investment

Will redistribute economic activity from other parts of Scotland rather than producing a net increase

Will increase business competitiveness by improving just-in-time delivery times

Will displace 100 local businesses

Will create 350 jobs during construction


Will reduce journey times, relieve congestion on existing motorways and main roads, and reduce traffic on local roads

Will increase traffic in general and on feeder roads in particular


Will reduce accidents

Active travel

Quieter local roads will lead to improved conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport

Will encourage use of motor vehicles Local walking and cycling journeys will be made more difficult by having to cross new motorway junctions


Noise and air pollution will be reduced on balance throughout the area

Moderate-to-major increases in noise are predicted at some sites

Will produce minimal severance effects because much of the route follows an existing main line railway

Nitrogen dioxide concentrations will be increased within 100 metres of the route

Chromium-contaminated land will be handled safely during construction

Very severe combined impacts predicted in four residential areas close to the route

Chromium will be dispersed from contaminated land into the air or river during construction

Contradicts stated overall sustainability objectives of transport policy

Social justice

Will improve quality of life in local communities

Unacceptable opportunity cost, e.g. the money could be used to fund improved public transport

Will result in better employment opportunities for local people

Will mostly benefit motorists from more distant and more affluent areas, causing adverse effects on local communities which have low levels of car ownership

* Claims grouped into domains post hoc by authors.

† Summarised and adapted from the then government's case for the project [24] and the report of the public local inquiry. [25]

Ogilvie et al. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010 7:43   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-43

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