Traffic diversion criticised

Diversions put in place following the closure of the A75 at Skyreburn, Gatehouse, on Monday after a fatal accident caused mayhem for motorists, it was claimed this week.

An early-morning crash left the main route blocked until shortly before 5pm, and traffic was diverted north from both Newton Stewart and Gatehouse via Girvan and New 
Galloway.

But some motorists have lashed out at a lack of signage and assistance once they had been diverted, with others were in disbelief at the smaller, local routes attempted by larger 
vehicles, including HGVs.

A number of incidents saw the narrow B796 Creetown to Gatehouse road, which was not a suggested alternative route, almost impassable and the council was soon ordered to close it. However, motorists approaching from Gatehouse saw the sign placed at the road end leading to Anwoth, and believed it to refer to closure of that stretch only, so continued.

HGVs had been ordered by police to divert via Ayr but some ignored this, and one exceptionally large lorry carrying wind turbine parts became stuck at a bridge on the Gatehouse Station road near Chain Wood, north of Creetown, and was forced to reverse for 
several miles which in turn brought other traffic to a standstill.

Jayne Ross from Lancashire contacted the Gazette to say that once they had headed north from Newton Stewart, they were left completely at a loss as to which route to take. She said: “Even though it was a tragic accident, the 
consequences for a vast amount of people expecting to travel along the A75 having come off the Stena ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan was a 150-mile diversion.

“We experienced severe confusion from Girvan onwards with signing for the 
diversion being very ambiguous. Our journey home to 
Lancashire was increased by four hours … it cost us a great deal of anxiety and extra fuel expense.

“Not all travellers in Scotland know the local situation for onward travel when such an incident occurs. We were not impressed.”

As a result of the A75 incident, 78-year-old Creetown man William Lupton, known locally as Carson, lost his life after his Ford Fiesta was in collision with a Vauxhall Vivaro van and a Citroen Berlingo van shortly after 7am.

There were no significant injuries to anyone else, according to police.