Transport Projects (South of Scotland)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 February 2024.

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Photo of Finlay Carson Finlay Carson Conservative

8. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on transport infrastructure projects in the south of Scotland. (S6O-03077)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The Government is taking significant action to progress transport projects in the south of Scotland. We have invested in the operation and maintenance of the rail and road networks. One example is our on-going work with communities in Ballantrae and Kirkoswald on the A77 to address concerns with speeding traffic, noise and a lack of pedestrian crossings. In addition, we are improving active travel and electric vehicle infrastructure in the current financial year.

Additionally, my officials are working with their counterparts in the United Kingdom Department for Transport to finalise the details of the £8 million in funding for the A75 that was finally confirmed by UK Ministers on 7 December 2023. All efforts are being made to secure that funding and allow work to commence next financial year.

Photo of Finlay Carson Finlay Carson Conservative

Last week, I met Michaela Yates and Samantha-jane Sheil. Their 51-year-old husband and dad died on the A75 after a collision with a heavy goods vehicle in November. They joined me in calling for average-speed cameras for the length of the A75. In addition, on Tuesday evening, there was yet another serious accident at the notorious Haugh of Urr road end. Why is the minister not considering average-speed cameras for the A75 when it is good enough for the A9 and other main routes in Scotland, and would bring about immediate improvements in road safety? I also urge the minister to accelerate the process to improve the junctions along the A75, given the high accident rates. We have had enough consultations. We simply need to get on with improvements.

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Any tragedy on our roads is one tragedy too many, and I express my condolences to the family concerned. There has been £85 million spent on maintenance improvements on the A75, but more can always be done. Finlay Carson is correct to represent his constituents and come here with specific examples. I will take away the average-speed camera issue for my officials to examine in relation to on-going maintenance and improved safety on that road.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

With apologies to those whom I was not able to call, that concludes portfolio questions.

There will be a brief pause before we move to the next item of business to allow a changeover of front-bench members.