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MSP in A75 dual carriageway calls

By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
MSP in A75 dual carriageway calls

CREATE a dual carriageway from Dumfries to the M74 motorway at Gretna.

That is the call from a newly elected MSP – urging the Scottish Government to set out its plans for the A75 Euroroute before it holds a transport summit in the region this summer.
Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell said: “The A75 is top of the priority list for many local people and given its strategic importance to the whole Dumfries and Galloway region it is urgently in need of an upgrade.
“Dumfries is the largest town in the south of Scotland and it is unacceptable that it doesn’t have a proper link to the motorway network.”
Mr Mundell says he believes this represents the ‘biggest barrier to local economic development’, and is calling for an early feasibility study and assessment of the potential economic benefits to the region.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister is set to fulfil his pledge to chair the transport summit in the region \_ despite his new job overseeing education.
John Swinney says he still intends to chair the summit, which the SNP had promised would take within the first 100 days of the new Scottish Parliament.
Mr Mundell said: “Ahead of the planned transport summit I am determined to ensure that John Swinney does not come to our region empty handed and it is therefore vital to secure firm commitments from the Scottish Government at an early stage.”
South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine had urged a transport summit to take place within the region, and has welcomed the news that both Mr Swinney and newly-appointed Transport Minister Humza Yousaf are set to play a role.
Ms McAlpine said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this news and it shows our Deputy First Minister’s continued commitment to the south of Scotland.
“I am also delighted that our youthful Transport Minister will attend, and I will be making sure he meets with the young people who have been campaigning for better transport links across the area.”
In response to Mr Mundell’s call for more investment, the Scottish Government has pointed to investments totalling £42.9 million including £9 million for the Hardgrove to Kinmount project, £17 million for the Dunragit Bypass, and £1.2 million for the Garroch roundabout on the A75.
And the spokesman said: “This is all underpinned by a further £38 million investment in ongoing maintenance for the A75 since 2007.”