Call for Government to start delivering on Ayrshire road upgrade promises

MSP Brian Whittle has told the Scottish Government that it’s time to start delivering when it comes to upgrading Ayrshire’s roads — and many others in the south west.

During a debate, Scottish Conservative MSP Mr Whittle delivered a scathing broadside at what he claimed is the SNP Government’s ‘failure’ to deliver on promises made by successive Transport Ministers.

In his speech, the South Scotland Regional MSP stressed that improvements to roads like the A77 could actually benefit the environment.

And he argued that bypassing more of the towns and villages on the southern end of the route would improve local air quality.

He said: “Time and again communities in the south west have been promised improved roads by the SNP, and that investment has never come.

“Now, in collaboration with the Scottish Greens, they’re trying to find more excuses to avoid bringing roads like the A77, A71 and Bellfield Interchange up to a standard fit for the 21st century.

“Upgrading these roads can not only deliver much needed safety improvements, but also reduce congestion in towns and villages, improving air quality.

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“It also presents an ideal opportunity to futureproof the routes by installing the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging points and even hydrogen fuelling stations.”

MSP Brian Whittle called for the Scottish Government to start delivering on local road upgrades
MSP Brian Whittle called for the Scottish Government to start delivering on local road upgrades

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Since 2007, we have invested approximately £50 million in six new road schemes on the A75 and £35 million in four separate schemes on the A77.

“The construction of these schemes has helped improve safety and decrease journey times for drivers using both routes between Stranraer and A74 (M) and Scotland’s central belt.

“In addition, work is underway on completing the £29 million A77 Maybole Bypass which will further improve the journeys being made by all users on that route.

“We also take our climate change responsibilities seriously which is why Scotland already leads the way on electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“The latest figures show that Scottish electric vehicle drivers benefit from 49 public charge points per one hundred thousand people, compared to 39 in England, just over 31 in Wales and less than 20 in Northern Ireland.

“We’ve invested over £50 million in ChargePlace Scotland which now has over 2000 publicly available charge points. We provide funding to all of Scotland’s local authorities to make sure communities across the country – urban and rural – have access to the benefits of EV charging.”

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