Presentation will examine improving transport links in Dumfries and Galloway

The next meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Trades Union Council will feature a presentation from Sandy Rogerson on improving transport links between Dumfries and Stranraer.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 12:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 6:36 pm
The Borders Railway line has delivered major economic and social development opportunities, which could be a blueprint for reinstating the Dumfries-Stranraer line.

Mr Rogerson, a member of Loreburn Community Council, will look at the relative positive and negative aspects of investing in either restoring the rail link between the two towns or converting the existing A75 road connection into dual carriageway along its entire length.

John Dennis, D&GTUC secretary, said: “From a trade union perspective, the improvement of connectivity between Dumfries and Stranraer, whether by road or rail, will mean more jobs, so it is something in which we take a clear interest.

"That’s why we wanted to know in greater detail what may be involved in each of the road and rail options.”

Mr Rogerson, has been researching the possibility of restoring the Dumfries-Stranraer rail link for some time, but in doing so is mindful of the key element of cost in both the scenarios.

He said: “With an overriding concern to see transport infrastructure across the region have minimum impact in terms of carbon emissions, I’m well aware that, in order to persuade both the general public and the necessary ‘movers and shakers’, the case for rail must be economically viable, as well as environmentally sensitive.

“It’s absolutely clear that a railway investment of the order that would be necessary for a Dumfries-Stranraer rail link – probably somewhere around £1.2bn at current prices – must provide a major economic stimulus to region, both during its construction and after completion.

“The good news is that we have, of course, seen both these objectives achieved through the restoration of the Edinburgh-Borders rail link.

“As a contrast the creation of dual carriageway along the whole of the A75 would be far more expensive and create far more carbon emissions.

"Official estimates for an A75 dual carriageway scheme have not been made public, but in 2011 a scheme to make the 80-mile A9 entirely dual carriageway was estimated to cost £3bn and take 14 years to complete. The A75, at 91 miles, is longer and would therefore be more expensive in both time and money.”

The meeting will take place at 7pm via Zoom.