MAJOR moves have been made in plans for new road improvements which will cut journey times between North Ayrshire and Glasgow.

A compulsory purchase order has being served to acquire land for the project.

The upgrade of the B714 will significantly improve connections between North Ayrshire and Glasgow, the central belt and wider motorway network.

The B714 project team has progressed the design of the project and, due to the increase in construction costs, the council will deliver the project across two phases.

Phase one starts at Girthill to Hillend roundabout with on-line improvements between Meiklelaught and Muirlaught and the construction of a roundabout to connect the upgraded road to the Hillend roundabout.

Phase two, between Sharphill roundabout and Muirlaught Farm, will be delivered at a later date, subject to funding.

Phase one will enhance the most direct link between Glasgow and the Three Towns, improve safety and contribute to accident reduction on the B714 through increased width and improved road alignment over the most sub-standard section.

It will also help ease congestion and air-quality related issues in Kilwinning.

The land needed to implement phase one has been identified and there are more than 50 separate areas, comprising areas to be acquired outright and others for the creation of new rights required for the project.

Officers will continue seeking voluntary acquisition alongside the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process as acquiring land by agreement where possible is seen as the best option.

The compulsory purchase order will now be made, advertised, and served on all relevant parties almost certainly by January.

Following notice being served, the CPO will be sent to Scottish ministers for confirmation.

Any objections must be sent to the Scottish ministers in writing and should objections from landowners, tenants or occupiers be substantial, the Scottish ministers must arrange for the public local inquiry (PLI) to be held.