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The weakest links: A75 and A77

Willie Scobie

THE A75 and A77 are the weakest links as transport infrastructure servicing the Cairnryan ferries are improved elsewhere. That's the claim after Highway England confirmed a £1bn upgrade of the A66 in Cumbria and made specific reference the ferry traffic it carries. They said: The A66 is both a nationally important road, linking Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire and a key regional route. It is a hugely important route for freight traffic across the United Kingdom and as the main link to the Lake District and North Pennines to the East of England. "Upgrading the A66 route will provide enormous benefits to people living locally but will also change the way people travel round the UK, improving connections from Scotland to the east coast of England and Belfast's port traffic, via Stranraer, onwards to ports including Hull and Felixstowe." UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are investing a record £13 billion to improve journeys across the North of England. "Dualling the A66 will not only mean drivers' journeys are quicker, safer and more reliable across the Pennines, but is part of our pledge to ensure that the business opportunities of the Northern Powerhouse spread out from the great cities of the North of England to every city, town and rural community from the Midlands to the Scottish Lowlands.” Campaigners for improvements to the A75 and A77 say there is also impetus for investment from Northern Ireland. Councillor Willie Scobie has been a key figure in the fight to have road links in the area upgraded dramatically. He has now contacted all the South of Scotland MSP's and MPs to involve them in the campaign to have both the A77 and A75 upgraded to dual-carriageway standard. "I have deliberately made contact with the MSPs and MPs to involve them in bringing about the needed improvements to the A77 and A75 roads for us to have any economic recovery in the South West of Scotland. “The revelations that have emerged from a communication from Highways England, and further correspondence received from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council that recognise the important and crucial transport links between all England,Scotland and Northern Ireland. "But it also flags up that Scotland is the weakest link and what we need from all our parliamentarians is for them to secure the funding for a 10-20 year upgrading programme for the A77 and A75 similar to the A9 improvements taking place on the A9 in Scotland and the A66 in England. “We need both these major trunk roads that serve the international port of Cairnryan upgraded to dual carriageway standards if we are ever to economically recover from COVID 19.”

<< back Published: 28 May 2020, 12:25

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