Local MP Alister Jack met with representatives from Stena Line last week to discuss the need for more investment in road infrastructure to and from the Port of Cairnryan.
The Dumfries and Galloway MP travelled to Belfast and met with Trade Director, Paul Grant, and Port Manager, Andrew Kane. At the meeting he heard more about Stena Line’s investment in the Wigtownshire port and spoke about the need for a joint up approach to address the serious lack of infrastructure in Dumfries and Galloway.
The ferry company have been hit with a series of road closures in the past year as a result of flooding and road works, which has caused huge disruption and led to the company calling for the Scottish Government to have a serious look at the infrastructure in the area before it causes any further damage to the local economy.
Stena Line have gone further and described the Port of Cairnryan as “the least accessible port across Europe.”
Following the meeting Mr Jack said, “I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Stena Line to discuss the importance of the Port of Cairnryan to the local economy of Stranraer, and the wider region of Dumfries and Galloway.
“People in this region are all too familiar with the problems that stem from under investment in our roads, particularly the A75 and A77, over a number of years.
“As other roads and infrastructure across the UK and Ireland are upgraded and improved the Port of Cairnryan will become less and less competitive, and we should be in no doubt that this will have a disastrous effect on our local economy.
“I am afraid the time for warm words on this is over, and that is why I will be working with Stena Line and other partners over the next few months to persuade both the Scottish and UK governments to recognise the strategic importance of this port and put some investment into improving the routes to and from it.
“The only way that this can be achieved is by everyone coming together, on both sides of the Irish Sea, and that is why I have already spoken to some of the Northern Irish MPs on this matter, and I look forward to bringing them on board too.”
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North) said:
“Stena Line was pleased to welcome Alister Jack MP to its Cairnryan – Belfast service last week. The fact-finding visit was timely given the series of recent road closures on the A77 which have impacted negatively on Stena Line’s day to day business operations. Mr Jack is well aware of the shortcomings of the current road provision to and from Loch Ryan having campaigned for A75 road improvements as part of his successful election as MP for Dumfries and Galloway in June of this year. Stena Line looks forward to working with Mr Jack and his colleagues and welcomes his offer of support in the ongoing campaign to lobby the Scottish Government into make the necessary investments these crucial road networks require.”