South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Net Zero, Energy and Transport spokesperson Colin Smyth has criticised the news that the delivery plan for the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review report has been delayed for another year.

The final STPR2 report was published last week, with no new recommendations for improving the A75 and A77. However, a parliamentary question has revealed that the Scottish Government will not publish a delivery plan for the recommendations until 2023.

Colin Smyth said: “Given this Government’s track record on transport, few communities will believe that the vague commitments made in a review that is already years late, will ever be delivered.

“I’ve always said the south west is the forgotten region of Scotland when it comes to infrastructure improvements, but the final STRP2 report shows the Scottish Government has nothing but contempt for the region.

“STPR2 remains full of vague promises and no detail, it is just not good enough.

“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 what is likely to now be over £4bn 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 Green-SNP Government won’t invest in the A77 and A75. They have ruled out any meaningful alternatives such as re-opening the Dumfries to Stranraer railway which makes a mockery of their green credentials.

“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.”

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