MSPs Emma Harper (South Scotland), Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) and Joan McAlpine (South Scotland) have written a joint letter to both the Chief Executives of Transport Scotland and Highways England. This letter requests that electronic signage on the main cross-border arterial routes have clear and succinct messaging on the COVID-19 advice in Scotland and England.
In particular, the SNP MSPs have pointed to the divergence between the UK and Scottish Governments in recent weeks and have stated that the Scottish Government have a clear route-map for easing Scotland out of the lockdown restrictions in line with the public health and evidence based approaches. The MSPs are keen to help raise awareness of cross-border differences in easement of lockdown.
Ms Harper, Ms McAlpine and Ms Graeme have cited their constituents’ views and concerns that many people who are coming to visit Scotland from other parts of the UK are not necessarily familiar with the differences in the COVID-19 restrictions between the two nations which has caused some confusion and even animosity with local businesses and residents.
While the three MSPs absolutely welcome and support visitors to the region, they are keen to ensure that people are aware of the different approaches that Scotland and England are taking as part of a four nation approach and that Scotland is easing lockdown restrictions in a careful cautious way, taking its own and independent approach to tackling this pandemic and therefore believe that road signs on cross-border connecting roads will be an additional helpful solution.
Commenting, Ms Harper, Ms McAlpine and Ms Graeme said:
“While we absolutely support people coming to visit South Scotland – world-renowned for its tourism business, its attractions and its beautiful scenery – we want to ensure that people enjoy the area safely and understand that in Scotland we have our own approach to easing the COVID-19 restrictions, which differs from the approach taken by other parts of the UK. To this end, we have jointly written to the Chief Executives of Transport Scotland and Highways England to request that electronic road signage on cross-border routes between the two nations reflect the differences in COVID-19 restrictions.
“Scotland has made excellent progress towards stopping the spread of COVID-19, and now as we are starting to see more of our tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses open, we want to ensure this good progress continues. One way to inform people is by ensuring that everyone is aware of the measures which are in place in Scotland, as they head north, and England as they head south, which we encourage everyone to follow.
“We look forward to hearing back from both Transport Scotland and Highways England soon.”