A "perfect storm" could prompt A75/A77 upgrade decision

The fate of the A75 and A77 upgrades could be determined in the next six months, according to Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 10:27 am
Finlay Carson believes a decision on road improvements will be made within the next six months

He believes either the UK Government will push ahead with multi-million pound plans to improve the infrastructure or the Scottish Government will be embarrassed into upgrading the key routes.

Mr Carson remains convinced a decision will be made before the end of the year to end years of frustration from drivers, haulage contractors and businesses.

His optimism comes after received the support of Liam Kerr MSP, shadow minister for Net Zero, Energy and Transport.

The two men drove stretches of the Gretna to Stranraer route before meeting with senior officials of Stena Line and P&O who have also joined the calls for both key arteries to be improved as a matter of urgency.

Mr Carson said: “Stena has invested a considerable amount over the years in improving its facilities at Cairnryan to make it one of the busiest ports in the UK.

“When they are calling on the Scottish Government to invest in improving the A75 and A77 then surely this message should hit home.

“Instead of burying their heads in the sand the Scottish ministers should be listening and looking at ways of improving the A75 and A77 to make them fit for purpose.”

Mr Carson believes the UK Government may take the matter into its own hands and press ahead with investment having been singled out in the interim report by Sir Peter Hendy, with the full report expected within the next three months.

He added: “I believe we have the perfect storm looming with either the UK Government determined to see the roads upgraded or the Scottish Government forced into carrying out the necessary improvements in order not to lose face.”

Mr Kerr voiced his support for urgent action.

He said: “I saw for myself just how bad the road is, and that’s only made worse by the huge volumes that use it on a daily basis.

“I also find it staggering the current Minister for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, has failed to visit the area, or meet with representatives from Stena, and think Finlay has done a marvellous job in repeatedly raising the issue at Holyrood.”