TRANSPORT connectivity in Dumfries and Galloway got the green light from the UK Government this week with a £13.7 million funding award.
It will be used to improve connectivity locally, including installing new EV charging for cars, purchasing electric buses, improvements to walking and cycling routes, and new transport hubs in five towns in the region.
Dumfries and Galloway Council are delighted at the success of their Levelling Up bid and say their focus is now “combining different elements to provide a ‘metro style’ interconnected access offer in our rural region”.
The aim is to enable both local journeys and cross-region trips to be made using electric vehicles and the local authority plan to buy 16 electric buses; create new vehicle electric hubs in Stranraer, Whithorn, Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet; make improvements at 100 bus stops on core routes; and support improved cycling and walking route facilities on the Kirkpatrick MacMillan coast-to-coast cycle route.
Council leader Gail Macgregor described it as a huge boost for the region and said: “As part of our council’s Climate Emergency Declaration, we must act now to address the use of sustainable environmentally friendly transport options to accelerate our drive to be a Net Zero carbon emission region. Part of this is also to promote the increased use of public transport and provide more electric buses and improved bus stop infrastructure at stops along core routes, linking into EV Travel Hubs.”
It’s also been welcomed by Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson, who said: “The news that our region has been successful in this transport bid is hugely welcome and this significant funding boost will help deliver modern 21st century infrastructure and support visitors and local residents to use cleaner, greener transport.
“Local have been loud and clear in their views that our transport infrastructure in South West Scotland just isn’t up to scratch and I am glad that the UK Government has agreed to play its part in bring it up to standard.”