The Scottish and UK Governments must work together to improve transport links in the south of Scotland, according to local MSP Colin Smyth.

The South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson was commenting after Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack was reported in the press saying he “was disappointed but not “surprised” Scottish Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson, has instructed officials not to engage” with the UK Government’s Connectivity Review.

Mr Jack repeated his statement on Sunday’s BBC Politics Scotland programme when interviewed by Gordon Brewer.

Colin Smyth said: “The south of Scotland is continually overlooked when it comes to investment in infrastructure and this needs to change as a matter of urgency.

“However, nothing is going to improve until both the UK and Scottish Governments start working together.

“The UK Government’s connectivity review has promised to examine the feasibility of building a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, which is another example of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fantasy politics. Talk of a bridge or tunnel between Portpatrick and Larne might grab headlines, but everyone knows it will never happen and it’s a distraction from the real issues.

“Those of us living in the region know we already have a link to Northern Ireland via Cairnryan Ferry Port. It’s not the ferries that are the problem, it’s the substandard road and rail links to get to them.

“It’s time for both governments to get serious about better connectivity for this region and seriously consider dualling the A75 and A77 and building a rail link to the ferry port.”

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