Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, has again criticised the SNP Government for failing to timeously deal with the poor road access to Scottish Ports in the south west of Scotland after it was revealed that the poor road access is providing a detrimental effect to both the Scottish and Northern Irish economies.
The abysmal investment in the road network in South West Scotland impacts a range of key business sectors including manufacturing, food production and tourism.
Whilst road connections within Northern Ireland have kept pace with economic development, the same cannot be said of key roads in Scotland, specifically the road network to and from Loch Ryan, which handles approximately 45% of all Norther Irish trade with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson said:
“The SNP’s record on road infrastructure in the south west of Scotland is appalling.
“Having promised to commission a report into improving road access for the A75 and A77, we are still waiting on the report to begin and I am not convinced it is going to deliver anything in addition to the NTS or STPR review that were already planned nationally.
“I have been informed that the report’s findings will not be published until Autumn.
“We do not need a report, dragged out over the course of 2018, to see how appallingly inadequate the road infrastructure is in the south west of Scotland.”
“I have raised questions in Parliament, submitted written questions to the Minister for Transport, and appeared before the Petitions Committee.
“This SNP Government can no longer hide the lack of investment and inexcusable mismanagement of the road network in the south west.
“Today’s comments by StenaLine highlight the scepticism and concern the private sector has for the Central-Belt focussed SNP Governments handling of the A75 & A77.
“I will continue to raise the matter of further investment into our infrastructure including upgrading both the A75 and A77 to dual carriageway whilst continuing to pressurise the Government to maintain the A75 and A77 to a high standard.”
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North) said:
“We have been working hard over a number of years to try to get key road improvements made on the A77 and more importantly the A75 heading south from Scotland.
“Despite significant investments by ferry operators between NI and Scotland, including Stena Line’s new £80m port and terminal facility at Cairnryan, which included the introduction of two larger ferries, successive administrations have been unable to commit the necessary capital resources to carry out these vital road upgrades.
“Access to and from Scottish ports is severely lacking compared with other UK hubs.”