£80,000 is a lot of money. Think what you could do with that? Think what we could do with that to further mission at St Andrew's and in the churches in Blantyre! £80,000 is what the BBC were reporting on the radio it cost for every metre of the new M74 extension! Ouch!
After our Blantyre and Hamilton churches meeting this evening with the Implementation Committee to plan a road ahead for the future of the Kirk in Blantyre, I decided to leave aside that tricky discussion for a more simple jaunt down the new road to see if all those millions of pounds had been well spent. Wow, I can report it makes a huge difference to travel time. I couldn't believe how quickly you find yourself on the M8 South of the Kingston Bridge.
If you look closely at the picture above you may be able to spot the crane at the SECC to the right of the second lampost on the left side of the picture. This photo is just as you approach the join to the M8. [There's more...]
On the way back, having explored a little how all the junctions work in that area, I timed the journey from the slip road onto the M74 at the Kingston Bridge to Glasgow Road, Blantyre at just over ten minutes all pottering along at the speed limit. Which all goes to make Ikea far too close for comfort!
The road is clear, smooth and very pleasant, assisted by a lovely night sky this evening. So, money well spent? That will be a challenging one to measure over the years, but it certainly should help to free traffic and journey times.
As I drove along contemplating the beautiful new road spread in front of me, and also with the various options for the future in Blantyre rattling around in my noggin, the passage from Isaiah 40 was present with me. As we worry so much about the hurdles and rocks and mountains that might get in the way of creating a shared vision for the future, nonetheless the call is heard,
Listen! It's the voice of someone shouting,
"Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all the people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken!"