Scottish Government ready to have talk on upgrade of the A75

The Scottish Government has given its strongest hint yet it is prepared to get involved in talks surrounding an upgrade of the A75.

The Scottish Government had refused to be involved in the process, but that may now change
The Scottish Government had refused to be involved in the process, but that may now change

This comes after Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson raised the issue with Scottish Transport minister Graeme Dey at Holyrood.

Sir Peter Hendy published his findings into the UK Union Connectivity Review that suggested an upgrade was crucial to bolster both the national and local economies.

Mr Carson said: “The Scottish Government could be announcing its plans to upgrade both the A75 and A77 – work that has been repeatedly promised to the people in the South West corner of Scotland even before the ferries moved to Cairnryan.

“The UK Government has committed £40m towards preparatory work between the two governments. Why the Scottish Government refused to get involved in the Union Connectivity review is baffling to my constituents.

“Particularly when 12 Scottish local authorities, the Welsh and Northern Ireland governments – and for that matter the Republic of Ireland transport minister contributed to the review.

“The Scottish Government claims the A75 will feature in its Strategic Transport Policy Review but people in the South of Scotland are growing tired of waiting and this government failing to deliver.

“Will the minister commit to working with the UK Government to bring much needed upgrades for the benefit of the people of Scotland and everyone across the UK.”

In his response, Mr Dey conceded that talks could now take place.

He said: “There is an offer of a meeting in the not too distant future and we will engage in that.”

His admission comes despite comments by MSP Christine Grahame that the UK Government’s offer of funding for the A75 amounted to nothing more than a “power grab.”

She told Border Television that Scotland’s roads infrastructure was a devolved matter while insisting other governments had not been consulted in the review.

Describing her comments as “incredulous”, Mr Carson added: “My constituents simply don’t care who foots the bill as long as the work is carried out.”