South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth will tell the Scottish Parliament that “the people of South West Scotland are not asking for favours. We are asking for fairness,” when it comes to investment in the region’s road infrastructure.
The local MSP is speaking during a members debate in the Scottish Parliament later today (6 November) on roads investment in South West Scotland.
In his speech Colin Smyth will highlight the fact that there is currently just one proposed road upgrade planned on all the trunk roads in South West Scotland- the Maybole by-pass on the A77 – and this amounted to just 1% of the value the Government plan to invest in the £3billion dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness . He will argue that there is a “unique” economic case for improvements to the A75 and A77 given the strategic importance of the ferry ports at Cairnryan and will tell Parliament that part of the reason for the economic weaknesses in the south west is the lack of investment in infrastructure.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “The debate in Parliament reminds us again of how much the South West of Scotland is the forgotten region by this SNP Government. While the Scottish Government have pledged £3billion to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness the whole of the South West is receiving only 1% of planned trunk road investment. This is despite former First Minister Alex Salmond promising investment in roads, rail and regeneration to support the ferry terminals at Cairnryan. The people of Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire and are fed up of being treated as second class citizens and are simply asking for fairness when it comes to investment in our roads infrastructure”.
The Dual the A75 and A77 Action Group have done a fantastic job in raising the case for investment in the South West of Scotland. If the Government listened to both action groups and invested in the A75 and A77 it would unlock economic growth for both Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire and start to tackle the low wage economy experienced by too many workers.
Unfortunately the Scottish Government were keen to trumpet the yet to start Maybole by-pass and I fear that it will take a long time to see any further improvements to the A75 and A77.”