Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell says the SNP continue to see trunk roads in the south-west as an ‘after thought’ after Transport Secretary Michael Matheson failed to commit to upgrading the A75 and A77.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP challenged the Transport Secretary at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, highlighting that it had been almost 1500 days since Deputy First Minister John Swinney led a much heralded transport summit in Dumfries, promising to look at the issues in the area.
However, very little progress has been made on delivering the required improvements to the vital trunk routes, prompting Mr Mundell to demand a commitment to dual the A75 and upgrade the A77 and saying it’s been an unlucky 13 years for people in the region under SNP rule.
Instead, the SNP Transport Secretary yet again hid behind ongoing appraisals into transport options in the south-west and would only assure Mr Mundell that the routes are of importance.
He even found time to make reference to Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross’ plans to add a third lane to the M8, which he claimed would leave less money for the south-west roads.
Mr Mundell says that shows the SNP are obsessed with the central belt and have a complete lack of ambition to truly transform Scotland’s infrastructure. Commenting, Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell said: “We constantly get warm words, repeated promises and repeated reviews from the SNP and successive Transport Secretaries when it comes to upgrading the roads in the south-west. “The reality under the unlucky 13 years of SNP rule is a severe lack of investment and a complete lack of urgency when it comes to upgrading the A75 and A77. “People living locally are sick and tired of hearing that reviews are taking place and promises that action will take place. “They simply won’t believe the words from the SNP Transport Secretary until they actually see shovels on the ground. “For the SNP Transport Secretary to take more time to have a dig at the plans laid out by Douglas Ross to add a third lane to the M8 simply shows his party’s obsession with the Central Belt and lack of ambition when it comes to upgrading our road infrastructure. “The A75 and A77 have been completely left behind under 13 years of SNP rule and it is our local economy who suffers. “Almost 1500 days have passed since a much heralded transport summit was held in Dumfries; the time for platitudes has long since passed.”