South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the news that preparatory work has begun on the vital upgrade of the A75.

The SNP MSP lobbied hard for the improvement ever since she took office in 2011, joining local campaign groups and other MSPs to push for the upgrade.

The upgrade had been stalled in the past due to swingeing budget cuts imposed from Westminster by then Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling.  But in spite of this, in June 2012, Finance Minister John Swinney announced that the Scottish Government would fund the £20 million project as part of a £105 million investment in capital projects to help boost the economy as well as improving road safety and transport links.

Commenting Ms McAlpine said:

“It is fantastic to see the project finally going ahead.  Nothing will change the fact that the life of a young child has been lost, but we can hope that with these improvements we can help avoid future tragedies.

“The SNP Scottish Government has a great record on improving the A75, having devoted £36.7 million prior to 2012 on special projects alone.  I am very pleased to be a member of a party with such a commitment to road safety and to our region; a stark contrast to the mere £5.9 million spent on the A75 by Labour when they were in office both here and in London.”

She added:

“Not only will we see improvements in road safety, the upgrade will also enhance journey times, helping to boost the local economy and make Dumfries and Galloway a more attractive option for leisure and tourism.”