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A75 talks invite issued

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
A75 talks invite issued

TRANSPORT Minister Jenny Gilruth has invited Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson for talks with her and Transport Scotland officials over the A75.

It follows an invite from Mr Carson to the minister to attend a public meeting in Crocketford on Monday night, which discussed plans for a bypass around the village and neighbouring Springholm.

Ms Gilruth was unable to attend due to prior commitments but has now offered to meet Mr Carson to hear his concerns.

The MSP is planning to insist that any discussions take place in Crocketford and involves local residents.

He said: “I think it is important that the Transport Minister hears first-hand as to what it is like living on the A75.

“Despite numerous campaigns down the years for bypasses around Crocketford and Springholm, there has sadly been a lack of progress in achieving this goal.”

Mr Carson told villagers that the Scottish Government had finally released the long awaited final technical report of its Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2). But he was scathing that the document failed to deliver a timescale when work will begin on the A75.

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman Colin Smyth also criticised the news that the delivery plan for the review has been delayed for another year.

He 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.

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

But SNP MSP Emma Harper has welcomed the South West commitments in the STPR2 and said: “The document states that the A75 and A77 would benefit from improving junctions, enhancing overtaking opportunities, and widening or realigning carriageways to alleviate ‘pinch points’.

“Specifically on the A75, the STPR2 also recommends realigning the road around the villages of Springholm and Crocketford and improving the road around the Cuckoo Bridge Roundabout.

“On public transport, the STPR2 recognises the need to improve the Glasgow-Dumfries-Carlisle rail line, to speed up journey time and to have more frequent services and it recommends better bus connectivity across Dumfries and Galloway.”

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