A712 will not be downgraded to B-class road

INITIAL suggestions to downgrade the western side of the A712 between Newton Stewart and New Galloway to a B-class road have been overturned.

The plans were mooted following a number of complaints about the road surface and its damaging effect on motorbikers - many of whom have come off their bikes on the road in recent months.

Council bosses had been in talks last week about downgrading the busy route - possibly to avoid having to maintain a higher standard of upkeep than a B-class road.

But it was confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that the western part of the road will be retained as an A-class.

Councillor Alistair Geddes told The Gazette: “It has been confirmed to me that the western part of the road at least will not be downgraded. This is good news but took a great deal of hard work. I am thrilled to hear the latest, as I’m sure my colleague councillor Brian Collins will be too.”

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council failed to confirm whether essential repairs would be made to the surface.

A dossier of paperwork between the council, motorbikers and drivers - both local and visitors - has been gathered by campaigners, many of whom currently refuse to use the road for organised tours to the region.

Glen Stansfied who organised August’s Wheelie Good Bike Show which toured the region via the A712 is hesitant about organising it for 2012 given the road condition and had the backing of the Scottish Ducati Club president, Mary Gibson, who has halted all tours to the region for the same reasons.

Dumfries and Galloway Council failed to respond to requests from us to clarify their position on repairing the road surface.