The £17 million Dunragit bypass opened this week, meaning Britain’s most–bashed bridge will no longer be a feature of the A75 Euro–route.
Having been struck more than 100 times in the last 10 years, now the only traffic making contact with the Challoch Bridge should be the Glasgow to Stranraer train as it passes overhead.
The bridge has been repeatedly struck by lorries after drivers ignore or misjudge height warnings.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the news of the bypass opening. He said: “The Dunragit bypass plans have been delayed by the Scottish Government since 2009 so there will be a big sigh of relieve locally that at long last the new road is now open and the full work will be completed by the summer. It always astonishes me just how often lorries crash into the bridge despite the warning signs and alternative route. But hopefully its reputation as Britain’s most bashed bridge will become a thing of the past.
“There are still some local concerns over the lack of noise screening for nearby properties and I have raised these with Transport Scotland. Overall, the bypass is a positive, long–overdue step but it is vital that we keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to carry out further improvements on the A75 which is still simply not fit for the purpose it is used. Plenty of investment is taking place on roads in other parts of Scotland but all too often our region is forgotten, despite the importance of the A75 to the local economy.”
Transport Scotland has confirmed that traffic would start using the three-mile bypass from this week. For the safety of road workers, a speed limit of 40mph will be in place throughout the ongoing works. Traffic management measures are expected to be removed towards the end of April allowing overtaking opportunities in both directions, with shared facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in places. The project is scheduled for completion this summer.