Galloway MSP Finlay Carson has welcomed the announcement that a transport summit will be in held on Monday, August 22, to discuss key concerns about transport and infrastructure in Dumfries and Galloway.
Mr Carson said: “While I welcome that a date has been set for this important summit, I hope that it will be more than just a talking shop and would appeal to the Minister for Transport and Islands, Humza Yousaf, not to come to Dumfries and Galloway empty handed.
“For too long, the people of this region have felt left out when it comes to investment in our transport and infrastructure.
“Only last week, a report by Audit Scotland put the region’s roads at the bottom of maintenance league tables with less than half the roads in an acceptable condition.
“It simply isn’t on. While I accept that many roads fall under the remit of local authorities, the reality is that Councils are cash strapped, thanks to under investment from this SNP Government, and are unable to provide the required level of investment needed to bring our roads back up to a satisfactory standard.
“The people of Dumfries and Galloway expect the SNP to stick to their pre-election pledge of more investment in the A75.
“I would be delighted to see further upgrades to the A75, A77 and A76 and a report into a new link from Dumfries to the M74, however I appeal to Mr Yousaf not to forget the people of Galloway and West Dumfries.
“The villages of Springholm and Crocketford have been relentlessly campaigning for a by-pass for many years, something I have wholeheartedly supported.
“We need a report on the economic and strategic impact of dualling the whole of the A75. The impact of doing nothing will have a detrimental effect on communities the length and breadth of the A75, including Stranraer – the forgotten Gateway to Scotland.
“There is no shortage of ideas or ambition for transport and infrastructure improvements in Dumfries and Galloway.
“On Monday 22nd August, Humza Yousaf has the opportunity to come to Dumfries and deliver something substantial. I am happy to work with anyone who appreciates the needs of our region and wants to realise its potential. Investment in our region’s road and rail networks has been long-awaited and I hope the people of Galloway and West Dumfries are not let down.”