Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has slammed today’s long awaited transport summit in Dumfries as a “huge missed opportunity” and hit out at the Scottish Government for a lack of promises on much needed projects.

Mr Mundell was in attendance at the meeting at Easterbrook Hall but thought it was nothing more than a “talking shop” and the lack of committed investment is a “real slap to the face” to the people of Dumfries and Galloway.

Commenting Oliver Mundell MSP said: “This transport summit was historic but for all the wrong reasons as it turned out to be a major disappointment in terms of a lack of action from the Scottish Government for much needed transport projects in this region.

“The SNP have been in power for almost a decade and had a perfect opportunity here to outline a timescale for investment to the people of Dumfries and Galloway, yet all we had again was a talking shop and it’s turned out to be a huge missed opportunity for real action.

“I didn’t expect John Swinney to come to Dumfries with his hard hat and shovel on to the meeting but I would have thought he could have opened his wallet up to help support many projects that local people have been fighting for years to achieve.

“This must be the first time a Scottish Government minister has come to a major meeting and not actually announced any planned investment which makes me question why they came down.

“Instead, what we got is the Scottish Government making sure they ticked a box to fulfil a pre-election promise which is a real slap in the face for people locally who have been demanding action, especially on the A75, which saw three local youngsters deliver a petition of well over 1,000 signatures to the Scottish Government recently demanding it be dualled.

“We have also seen a disgraceful situation where ‘temporary’ traffic lights have been on the A76 for almost two years which is majorly harming the local economy. We could have had a promise from the Scottish Government that they would put pressure on Transerv Scotland to change this as soon as possible, but we heard nothing.

“The Scottish Government could also have given a boost to local campaigns for new rail stations at Eastriggs, Thornhill and Beattock with a firm commitment of support but all we got was warm words.

“This wasn’t the time for nice words, it was the time for some real action but once again the Scottish Government seem to think major investment in road, rail and other transport services isn’t a priority for Dumfries and Galloway, despite the money being found for other areas of Scotland.

“I was looking forward to this much hyped summit but instead I have left the Easterbrook Hall feeling hugely frustrated but determined to keep up the pressure on the Scottish Government.

“Their ignorance of the needs of transport projects which would hugely boost the region’s economy cannot be allowed to go on and it is a pity they only came to Dumfries to say they had done so.”

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