Perfect Storm Could Prompt A75 Decision

The fate of the A75 and A77 upgrades could be determined in the next six months, according to Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries.


The local MSP believes either the UK Government will push ahead with multi-million pound plans to improve their infrastructure or the Scottish Government will finally agree to upgrade the key routes.


He remains convinced that a decision will be made before the end of the year to end years of frustration from drivers, haulage contractors and businesses in the south west corner who regularly use both routes.


His optimism comes after the local MSP received the wholehearted support of Liam Kerr MSP, the Scottish Conservatives shadow minister for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, in his ongoing campaign to ensure the A75 is upgraded as a matter of urgency.


The two men drove stretches of Gretna and Stranraer route late last week before meeting with senior officials of Stena Line and P&O who have also joined the calls for both key arteries to be improved as a matter of urgency in order to ensure greater reliability.


Following the meeting, Mr Carson said he had been greatly encouraged by the views expressed by the ferry company that action was needed to upgrade both routes.


He said: “Stena has invested a considerable amount of money over the years in improving its facilities at Cairnryan to make it one of the busiest ports in the UK.
“It not only attracts hauliers from Scotland but also the north of England – all of which benefits the local economy and employment opportunities. When they are calling on the Scottish Government to invest in improving the A75 and A77 then surely this message should hit home/
“Instead of burying their heads in the sand the Scottish Government Ministers should be listening and looking at ways of improving the A75 and A77 to make them fit for purpose. I know their new bed mates have different ideas about road improvements but this investment is vital.”
The local MSP believes the UK Government may take the matter into its own hands and press ahead with investment having been singled out in the interim report by Sir Peter Hendy. The full report is expected within the next three months.
Mr Carson continued: “I believe we have the perfect storm looming with either the UK Government determined to see the roads upgraded or the Scottish Government forced into carrying out the necessary improvements in order not to lose face.
“Scottish Government have already said it will be included in its strategic transport programme but this has still not been released yet. It is going to be extremely interesting given their new relationship with the Greens as to what they will decide.
“At the end of the day, local companies like Stena Line are desperate for improvements at the earliest opportunity NOT years down the line.”


Afterwards Liam Kerr voiced his support for urgent action. He said: “Today was extremely productive in that I saw for myself just how bad the road is, and that’s only made worse by the huge volumes that use it on a daily basis.
“Some drivers are putting their, and other road users’ lives at risk through total frustration at being held up and compromising their safety. I also find it staggering given the reports we are all getting from the courageous actions groups here, that apparently the current Minister for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson, who was minister for transport for the last four years, has failed to visit the area, or meet with representatives from Stena to gauge their views.
“I think Finlay has done a marvellous job in repeatedly raising the issue at Holyrood and I know how passionate he feels about getting this investment as quickly as possible. It is simply unacceptable that his constituents have been largely ignored for such a long time now.”

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