A75 and A77 Improvements

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 16 November 2023.

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Photo of Colin Smyth Colin Smyth Labour

6. To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish a delivery plan for improvements to the A75 and A77 trunk roads. (S6O-02741)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The delivery plan for the strategic transport projects review 2 is currently being prepared and will contain details of future improvements on both the A75 and A77.

This Government is already delivering improvements to both roads. This year alone, we will deliver more than £3 million-worth of vital structural maintenance on the A75 and resurfacing works worth £1.4 million on the A77.

We have been in discussion with the United Kingdom Government on the A75 specifically for more than a year, since it said that it wanted to fund aspects of the A75 improvement work through UK-wide connectivity funding, but no funding has yet been delivered by the UK Government for improvements to the A75. Clarity about funding is key to determining the timelines and plans for those projects.

Photo of Colin Smyth Colin Smyth Labour

I hear what the minister says about discussions with the UK Government about the A75, but the commitments regarding work on both trunk roads were made by the Scottish Government in its strategic transport review and the A77 does not feature at all in the UK Government’s connectivity review.

Does the minister accept that there is real frustration in the community, and from businesses such as the ferry companies operating from Cairnryan, about the fact that we do not have a clear timeline or a clear commitment to funding the promised improvements to those trunk roads? Will she agree to meet a cross-party delegation of members and representatives of local campaign groups, in order to hear why improving those vital road links is so crucial to the economy of the south-west of Scotland?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I have already heard representations—from industry, in particular—on a number of occasions, and I think that Colin Smyth’s points about Cairnryan are well made. If diary commitments permit, I would certainly be interested to meet the campaigners.

However, I reiterate that the interested parties from whom I have heard so far have said that they really want action on the realignment at Springholm and Crocketford. That is the piece of work that we understand that the UK Government wants to help to fund. There are other areas that we have been supporting and funding, not least the fact that we have supported six maintenance programmes on the A77 in this financial year alone.

As I have said to many members who have asked such questions, it should be remembered that the Maybole bypass, which has made a big difference to people who use the A77, was delivered by this Government.

Photo of Sharon Dowey Sharon Dowey Conservative

The A77 is a key road for businesses and the thousands of local people who rely on it to commute to work and to visit family and friends. The number of accidents on the road is very concerning. Public safety is at risk, and we need to see action. Will the Scottish National Party Government invest to improve that vital route, or does it plan to cut the budget for roads again next year?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I refer the member to my comments about the Maybole bypass. There has also been the Symington and Bogend Toll work, the Park End to Bennane project, the Glen App wide single carriageway and the Haggstone climbing lane. In addition, this year, £1.4 million has been invested at the Kirkoswald south gateway, south of Turnberry, north of Turnberry, Turnberry and Treeswoodhead Road. That investment continues. We are committed to supporting people who use the A77 and the A75.