Joan McAlpine asked Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson to comment on how the SNPs manifesto commitments to better link Dumfries to the central belt via the motorway and improve the A75 might be implemented following the review.
Mr. Matheson announced that the South West Transport Study will be published in draft format by the end of June and says that the study will be used to feed into a ‘detailed assessment of options to link Dumfries to key markets including the central belt’. He also provides an assurance that these options for Dumfries form part of the selected areas for consideration in the Strategic Transport Projects Review.
Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“I welcome the news that the results of the South West Transport Review will feed into a wider programme of work to improve the face of transport in Dumfries and Galloway, and this is something I have taken a strong interest in for some time.
“Dumfries is the regional capital of South West Scotland – the only part of the country not considered a “city region” for economic development purposes. People in surrounding areas need to access Dumfries for work, education, health and social services as well as cultural, social and sporting activities.
“Presently, the region is not well connected with slow, intermittent rail links and no dual road links. The A701 and A709 which link Dumfries to the M74 are in need of upgrading and have single lane traffic, at points controlled by traffic lights. This is unacceptable.
“Linking Dumfries and its satellite communities better to the central belt, by both road and rail, will in my view have the most significant economic benefit to the whole region. “
This is the second strategic review – the first was published in 2008. The new review will consider future investment in all transport modes including the strategic road and rail networks as well as active travel, island connectivity, ferries and buses.
Speaking on the background of the STPR, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The Scottish Government is fully committed to building a sustainable transport system that supports our economy and helps deliver inclusive growth.
“Work is already underway on the review of the National Transport Strategy which will set out a shared vision for a future of our transport system and the second Strategic Transport Projects Review will build on that by identifying the infrastructure required to make this a reality.”