South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport & Rural Affairs Colin Smyth has said he has very low expectations for real improvements being made to the A75 and A77, ahead of the publication of the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2.
Phase 2 recommendations are due to be published on Thursday (January 20), with a Ministerial Statement in the Scottish Parliament, but the local MSP has expressed his concerns that once again, the south west will be overlooked.
Colin Smyth said: “When the current Government published the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) in 2008, it pledged to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness but improvements to the A75 and A77 barely merited a mention.
“Those who use these vital trunk roads regularly have been eagerly awaiting the publication of STPR2 for years but if history is anything to go by, we are set to be disappointed.
“The Green-SNP Government has already shelved the idea of dualling the A75 and A77 which was included in an initial list of projects in a January 2020 Government instigated Transport Study for the South West. This is despite having pledged to press ahead with investing £3bn in dualling the A9.
“They claimed it was for environmental reasons but in reality there is nothing environmentally friendly about 40 tonne plus wagons rattling past the front doors of the many villages along the A75 and A77.
“It is a disgrace that even basic improvements to active travel, such as proper cycle route between Cairnryan and Stranraer, have been ditched over the years because the current SNP Government won’t invest in the A77 and A75.
“All local people in our region are asking for is that a fair share of the roads budget, whatever level that budget is, goes on improving the A75 and A77- and that’s what I will continue fighting for.”