Could average speed cameras along the entirety of the A75 finally be introduced? That is the question being asked by Finlay Carson MSP following Scottish Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop ‘s commitment to consider their introduction in a bid to improve road safety on this accident-prone route.
The Galloway and West Dumfries MSP was given that assurance having previously raised the installation of average speed cameras and increase in HGV speed limit with previous Transport Ministers Jenny Gilruth and Kevin Stewart.
Speaking at Holyrood on Thursday, Mr Carson told how he had met with Michaela Yates and Samantha-Jane Shiel whose 51-year-old husband and dad respectively, died on the A75 after a collision with an HGV in November.
He said: “They joined me in calling for average speed cameras for the length of the A75 and, in addition, on Tuesday evening there was yet another serious accident at the notorious Haugh of Urr road end.
“Can I ask the Minister why she’s not considering average speed cameras for the A75 when it is good enough for the A9 and other main routes in Scotland, which would bring about immediate improvements in road safety.
The local constituency MSP continued “Can I urge the Minister to accelerate the process to improve the junctions along the A75 with the high accident rates that we see. We’ve had enough consultations; we need to get on with improvements.”
In her response, Ms Hyslop admitted that in terms of tragedies on our roads, any tragedy is a tragedy too much and she expressed her condolences to the family concerned.
The Minister said: “There has been £85 million spent in terms of maintenance and improvements on the A75, there is always more that can be done.
“I think the member is correct to represent his constituents, to come here with specific examples and in relation to the average speed camera issue that is something that I will take away for my officials to examine in terms of that ongoing maintenance and improvement for safety on that road.”
Afterwards the Conservative and Unionist MSP described the decision as being of “great significance”.
He explained: “I have raised the issue of average speed cameras on numerous occasions with various Transport Ministers but to no avail.
“The fact that the Transport Minister has given a firm commitment to examine their introduction is not only of great significance but potentially a step forward in terms of road safety.
“I firmly believe that it is important to have average speed cameras on the A75 but also more enforceable speed limit cameras in the villages of Springholm and Crocketford.”