THE state of the region’s roads are being partly blamed for a decline in business for the area’s construction sector.
MP Russell Brown said this week that the SNP Government’s delay in repairing the A75 was contributing to a lack of manufacturing orders.
Now the MP is calling on the SNP Government to give the construction sector the support it needs by investing in transport infrastructure.
He said: “Several planned upgrades to trunk roads in Dumfries and Galloway have been put on hold, such as the Dunragit Bypass on the A75. The SNP continue to refuse to even consider the construction of much needed bypasses on the A75 for Crocketford and Springholm.”
The politician’s renewed calls for government action come in the wake of news that Solway Steel based at Creetown is to close with the loss of 40 jobs and as the Federation of Master Builders’ State of Trade Survey publish their results for the last three months of 2011. They show that only one in 10 Scottish construction firms are positive about current and future workloads, a decrease from only three months ago.
Last month the SNP Government published their Infrastructure Investment Plan and while it listed investment in other parts of the country, Dumfries and Galloway missed out.
Mr Brown said: “Local people and business are angry that the SNP consistently overlooks our region in favour of investment in large scale transport projects in the central belt or north of Scotland. The SNP’s Infrastructure Plan, published last month, gave the game away – while they have an array of new road and rail schemes in other parts of the country, nothing is planned for Dumfries and Galloway. The consequence is a double-whammy for our region – not only do we miss out on the real benefits from better transport connections, but we don’t get the construction jobs this work can bring.
“As well as the delays to the Dunragit Bypass, the SNP continue to refuse to even consider putting bypasses in at Crocketford and Springholm, which means communities there are condemned to continue being blighted by heavy traffic. The SNP talk a good talk, but when it comes to spending money on road and railways our region is always forgotten.”