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Accidents make case for southern A75 bypass

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Accidents make case for southern A75 bypass

A SERIES of crashes which have closed the A75 at Dumfries in recent weeks support the case for a southern bypass.

That is the view of the ‘Dual the A75’ campaign group, who say the project last costed at about £51 million could be crucial to ensuring constant access to the region’s new £212 million flagship hospital.
Pointing to ongoing construction of the hospital at Garroch Loaning at the eastern end of the bypass, a statement from the campaign group said: “The fact that the bypass is often closed due to accidents adds weight for the need of a second bypass given the location of the new hospital.”
Arguing in support of a new section to the south which would effectively create a ring road, it added: “This will help stop delays on transfers to the hospital as you would have a choice of bypass to take.
“When the current bypass is closed off journeys are currently diverted through the town centrewhich really is not practical given the volume of traffic that uses this route everyday.
“We need to see further steps taken to construct a dual carriageway southern bypass.”
Two crashes on the morning of Thursday February 9 on separate sections of the A75 bypass resulted in traffic being diverted through the centre of Dumfries—resulting\!q in major congestion.
The campaign group said: “The latest accidents along the Dumfries bypass shows that this section of road is unfit for purpose.
“The bypass is already incredibly busy and the bypass will only become busier when the new hospital and Aldi store opens.”
Councillor and South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has argued in favour of a southern bypass which he says could be constructed in two stages — from Annan Road to the Crichton and then the Crichton to Cargenbridge.
And he says it would open up the south side of Dumfries for development.
But while he notes the council recently highlighted the idea to the Scottish Government as part of the Transport Summit, he says the project costed at £51 million in 2008 will not happen without Government investment.

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