Public urged to respond to transport consultation
The public are being encouraged to give their views on proposals for improvements to the road and rail network across Southwest Scotland.
Transport Scotland has published the results of a study examining the transport network south of Ayr and considering ideas for improvements. Earlier this year, the public were asked to contribute their thoughts about the roads, public transport services and active travel in the Southwest. Now, after months of waiting, the draft report has been published with more than 20 different proposals to make life better for travellers.
Among the proposals are improvements to rail services, including new stations at Pinwherry, Cumnock and the South side of Ayr, increasing the speed limit for HGVs and providing more laybys and service stations on trunk roads and investment in road improvements on the A77 including partial dualling and more bypasses around towns and villages.
The report highlights the challenges for people living in southern Ayrshire who need to travel for work, study or even medical appointments. Limited bus and train services often mean residents in towns like Girvan can struggle to commute using public transport or enjoy a night out in Glasgow because the timetables start too late and finish too early.
The role of the A77 in supporting Scotland’s economy is another key feature of the study. Together with the A75, it carries the majority of traffic to and from the ferry links to Northern Ireland. Not only is this a key route for tourism but it’s estimated that the A77 carries around £10million worth of goods per day. It’s also a vital supply line for major supermarkets like Tesco who send fresh produce across the Irish Sea every day.
South Scotland MSP Brian Whittle, who campaigned for the Scottish Government to fund the study, has welcomed its publication and is encouraging the public to give their feedback.
The report and consultation can be viewed online by searching for “Transport Scotland South West Transport Appraisal”. A link is also on Brian Whittle MSP’s Facebook page.
Brian Whittle MSP said:
“This report proves what travellers in Southwest Scotland already knew – our local transport network isn’t good enough and needs to be improved.
With better transport links, we can grow the local economy, create more, higher paying jobs, and make the most of Scotland’s only direct link to Northern Ireland. Today, our poor transport infrastructure is holding us back but if the Scottish Government commits to taking these proposals forward, better transport links can transform the area’s fortunes.
The challenge now is to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to do more than just the bare minimum. After years of little to no investment in the southwest’s transport infrastructure by the SNP, it’s clear we are overdue our fair share.
I’d encourage everyone to have a look at the proposals and respond to the consultation and make sure the south west’s voice is heard loud and clear.”