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Two South Scotland MSPs have condemned the new Tory leader in Scotland for getting his priorities wrong on road improvements.

Emma Harper MSP and Joan McAlpine MSP said Douglas Ross MP’s demands that billions of pounds be spent on the Glasgow Edinburgh motorway would result in a diversion of funds from much needed road upgrades in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Ross, who was installed as Scottish Tory leader after Downing Street removed Jackson Carlaw, has demanded that the Scottish Government use recovery funds to add a third lane to the M8.

Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“The proposal from Douglas Ross to spend an estimated £3-5 (000000000) billion to add a third lane to the M8 would divert resources from South Scotland just at a time when we are making progress in getting commitments to improve essential transport routes in the region.

“People across Dumfries and Galloway – including the A75 and A77 Action Groups – have campaigned long and hard for much needed investments on our routes. We will continue to do all we can both at Holyrood and through lobbying the UK Government, to ensure our region is high on the priority list for major transport and infrastructure investment. I also urge all across the region to take a look at the South West Transport Study which has a number of recommendations from dualling parts of the A77 and A75 to rail and bus improvements.”

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper said:

“Transport links across Scotland are essential for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods, particularly as we head into a post-Brexit world. Just last week, I asked the Transport Secretary – Michael Matheson MSP – to provide an update on the South West Scotland Transport Study.

“This study makes clear recommendations regarding essential upgrades to the A75 Euro Route – and the A77 – which connect to Cairnryan port and these recommendations will be further explored in the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR). It is essential that our region receives much needed investment and I look forward to continuing to make the case for this.”