Roads coalition welcomes ‘most meaningful announcement on the A75 for many years’

Roads coalition welcomes ‘most meaningful announcement on the A75 for many years’

A transport alliance represented by Message Matters has welcomed a significant step forward in its campaign to upgrade the A75 road in south west Scotland.

We have lobbied on behalf of port operators Stena Line, P&O and Belfast Harbour for a number of years as the firms work collaboratively to secure improvements to both the A75 and A77 routes leading to and from the ferry ports at Cairnryan, near Stranraer.

They are the founding partners of the South West Scotland Transport Alliance (SWSTA), which is bringing major players together to highlight the need for change.

Commenting on the announcement by UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper that agreement has been reached for Transport Scotland to undertake a feasibility study, funded by the UK Department for Transport, on improvements to the A75, specifically on the provision of bypasses for Springholm and Crocketford, an SWSTA spokesperson said:  “This is the most meaningful announcement about the A75 for many years, and it is to the credit of the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland that they have been able to reach agreement.

“We have always asked for a way to be found which enables the UK Government to provide the financial backing for the Scottish Government to put spades in the ground, and that appears to have happened.

“It is particularly welcome that the UK Government has underlined its commitment not only to the feasibility study, but also to the delivery of the Springholm and Crocketford bypasses. This is in the interests not only of the people and businesses in south west Scotland, but also to those in Northern Ireland and England – the A75 is critical to UK connectivity.

“Much more must be done to make the A75 and the A77 safer, greener and better. There is a casualty every three days on these roads. Nearly two tonnes more CO2 is emitted on each of these roads, every day, than are emitted on comparable, upgraded roads. And they are two of the five slowest A-roads in Scotland.

“This announcement by the UK Government, however, finally appears to be putting us on a tangible path from words to action and provides a foundation for discussions over other possible improvements to both roads. We look forward to working further with Transport Scotland and the UK Government as this progresses.”

We look forward to working with the SWSTA as its incredibly important work continues.