Recommendations to improve south west transport network

The Scotland Transport Project Review 2’s (STPR2) recommendations include improving the A75 and A77 as well as the possibility of relocating Stranraer station.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:05 am

The recommendations are listed under the section “ Access to Stranraer and the ports at Cairnryan” .

The report reads: “Stranraer and the ports at Cairnryan act as an important gateway to Scotland for ferry passengers and freight.

"Improving the transport assets in this location would support regeneration in the south west of Scotland to benefit the economy and local communities.

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The report includes recommendations to upgrade the A75

"STPR2 recommends that safety, resilience and reliability improvements are made on the A75 and A77 strategic road corridors, in turn supporting placemaking opportunities.

"This would include, but is not limited to enhancing overtaking opportunities, widening or realigning carriageways and improving junctions.

"To encourage greater use of public transport and enable regeneration activities, consideration would also be given to upgrading or relocating the railway station in Stranraer.

"These would provide more resilient connections to the draft Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) national developments at Stranraer Gateway, Chapelcross Power Station Redevelopment and the ports at Cairnryan.”

South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper welcomed the recommendations and paid tribute local campaigners.

She said: “I am pleased we now have publication of the STPR2 and that the Scottish Government listened to the people of Dumfries and Galloway and have recognised the need for our region’s transport network.

"I have called for this since my election in 2016 and many others have been making this case for a number of years – such as the A75 and A77 Action Groups – who I pay tribute to and thank for their work.

"While the document does not mention any particular rail routes, I will be feeding these into the call for feedback, and will be pressing for particular action on Stranraer-Dumfries and Dumfries-Lockerbie lines, and the re-opening of Beattock Station.”

The lack of details or timescales in STPR2 is causing concern for Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson.

While he would welcome improvements to the rail network, having already held positive talks with Transport Minister Graeme Dey, and the A75 and A77 – he wants to see more concrete plans in place.

Mr Carson said: “STPR2 has outlined a series of commitments in terms of the roads and rail – but sadly no timetable for this work to actually happen.

“The review simply confirms the government’s priorities and outcomes in terms of its transport strategy for the next 20 years.

“What it failed to say was when this work will be carried out. Are we talking five years, 10 years or 20 years?”

“I am glad the Scottish Government has recognised my call for an improved railway station in Stranraer.

“Whatever is finally decided must be part of a major review of transport links and the creation of a fit-for-purpose transport hub .

"The review had more concern about landslips on Rest and Be Thankful; but none about A77 at Carlock above Cairnryan - down to a lane for two years now.

“Indeed its publication will herald yet another delay marking the start of 12 weeks public consultation, but it’s unclear what role this consultation will play in shaping the final recommendations

“What if, for example, there was a huge response demanding dualling of the A75 around Springholm and Crocketford or the extention of the rail line from Stranraer to Cairnryan, or realigning the A77. Would that ensure these vital projects proceed?”