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Fresh calls for A75 and A77 investment

Trunk roads in the spotlight

WIGTOWNSHIRE'S key trunk roads are under the spotlight as politicians fight for improvements to the A75 and A77. Transport England hailed a major investment in dualling the A66 – a key east/west trans-Penine link in the North of England – as a boost for ferry traffic heading to and from the port of Cairnryan. With ferry firms having warned they were seeing hauliers look to ports south of the border because of issues on the A75 and A77 and Northern Irish politicians saying a lack of in road infrastructure here was damaging their economy, hundreds of Free Press readers signed a petition last year demanding more investment in the two trunk roads. Last week Emma Harper MSP suggested that despite transport being devolved to Holyrood, the Westminster Government could inject cash under the Sewel Convention. The Convention – an agreement which accompanies the UK/EU withdrawal agreement – states there can be ‘no detriment' to Scotland in any way as a result of the UK decision to leave the EU. SNP South of Scotland MSP Miss Harper wrote to the transport secretaries in Holyrood and Westminster arguing for extra funding for, in particular, the A75 in light of predictions that the road will be busier after Brexit. Now Conservative MSP Finlay Carson – whose roads petition last year garnered thousands of signatures in total – has now written to both the Secretary of State for Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “I wrote to both the Prime Minister and Secretary State for Scotland to explore any way where they could address the failures of the SNP in a devolved issue considering the major implications for the UK, with the connections from North of England to Northern Ireland." The MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries added: “Reading Emma Harper's letter, you would be forgiven for forgetting that it is the SNP Government – the government of the party for whom she is an MSP – who have full control over transport projects in Scotland. “It is Miss Harper's SNP Government whose lack of action is detrimental to Scotland with their shocking disregard and lack of funding for infrastructure projects in the south-west, not just forgotten but the ignored region under the SNP. “Miss Harper should turn the spotlight on the abysmal record on the roads and on rail in Galloway rather than constantly looking for someone else to blame for the underfunding of infrastructure in Dumfries and Galloway.” Last week Miss Harper said: “Everyone who lives, works or travels thorough South West Scotland – and in particular on the A75 - agrees that these extremely important arterial transport routes are in need of significant investment to improve their efficiency, safety and attractiveness.”

<< back Published: 23 Jun 2020, 10:15

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