Parliamentarians Pledge Support for Langholm Tourism Signs Drive

EFFORTS are being stepped up to secure better signage highlighting Langholm on both sides of the border.


The campaign has been launched by Eskdale’s recently appointed tourism officer Sharon Tolson, who has been tasked with promoting the area’s attractions in a bid to increase visitor numbers.


Since joining the Langholm Alliance, Mrs Tolson helped organise a ‘Let’s Talk Tourism’ event this week in the Buccleuch Centre (Tuesday August 23). 


Representatives from across the local hospitality sector, including accommodation providers, visitor attraction operators and retailers exchanged ideas and discussed initiatives.


Earlier, Mrs Tolson and Alliance chairman Cllr Denis Male met Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell and constituency MSP Oliver Mundell to discuss tourism promotion and the signs issue.


“One major concern is the lack of any mention of Langholm on road signs from the M6 at junction 44 at Carlisle and the 14 miles up the A7 to the Scottish border,” explained Mrs Tolson.
“Travelling from the south we are the first town in Scotland on what is described nationally as a tourist route to Edinburgh but even when travellers enter Dumfriesshire there is only a brief mention of Langholm.
“There are eight electrical vehicle charging points at the Kilngreen but no signage and drivers can be through the town unaware of that useful opportunity to charge up and perhaps spend some time in the town and find out more about local attractions.”


Mrs Tolson revealed that the Alliance was already working with the local authority to have signs pointing the way to the town’s designated car parks.


Both the local MP and MSP pledged to take up the signs issue at Westminster and Holyrood and praised the Eskdale initiative.


David Mundell said: “I believe there is a strong case for Langholm to be mentioned at junction 44 and the A7 and I will raise the issue with the relevant authorities including the Department of Transport.  
“It will not be easy as there are strict criteria for place signs, particularly on motorways and other trunk roads, but I’m determined to make the Minister and officials fully aware of the particular issues at Langholm to see if progress can be made.”


Oliver Mundell said: “In recent years tourism has become even more important to the Eskdale economy and it has the potential to grow further.
“There is a fantastic offering in terms of wildlife, countryside, history and activities such as walking, cycling and a range of other outdoor pursuits. 
“It’s vital the area’s environment is protected and I am pressing at Holyrood for the same level of tourism support locally as there has been in the Highland and Islands for many years.”