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South bypass creation calls for town

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
South bypass creation calls for town

A CAMPAIGN group calling for the dualling of the A75 are proposing the creation of a southern bypass around Dumfries -  last costed at £51 million.

‘Dual the A75’ note that costs and difficulties in upgrading the existing bypass would include constructing three new bridges, and are inviting views on an alternative approach.
A statement from the group said: “The current A75 runs along the ‘north’ Dumfries bypass, and due to difficulties with land, houses and other buildings we believe it would not be cost effective to attempt to dual this section of road, especially given that dualling is physically impossible along certain sections.”
Having taken their calls to dual the A75 Euroroute to the Scottish Government, the group said: “We feel as though a new South Dual Carriageway bypass link will be the best option for ensuring the A75 is dualled in its entirety.”
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has long backed the idea of a southern bypass, describing the existing section as ‘creaking’ under current traffic levels.
Mr Smyth said: “A southern bypass linking the Annan Road roundabout to the A75 near Cargenbridge really is unfinished business when it comes to the A75.
“In the same way failing to dual the Dumfries bypass was shortsighted by the Government at the time it was built, so too was failing to complete the bypass so you actually had a Dumfries ring road.”
Arguing a southern section would ease access to the Crichton, he added: “It would also open up the whole south side of Dumfries for development by providing decent road access.”
Mr Smyth notes the last estimated cost was £51 million in 2008, and says no project will happen without Government investment.
But he says it could be carried out in two stages – from Annan Road to the Crichton and then the Crichton to Cargenbridge.
Noting the council recently highlighted the idea to the Scottish Government as part of the Transport Summit, he said: “I’m pleased the A75 campaign group have joined the campaign in support of those calls because this is exactly the type of transport infrastructure investment that could make a positive difference to the local economy, but the ball is very much in the Scottish Government’s court.”

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