South West connectivity
More than twenty options to improve connectivity in the South West of Scotland are to go through to a national assessment of future transport interventions for further consideration.
The reopening of the rail link between Stranraer and Dumfries and a new line from Stranraer to Cairnryan will now go forward to the second Strategic Transport Projects Review, which is looking at future transport investment priorities across the country. The potential merits of new stations and services to improve connections to Glasgow on the South Western line will also be explored in more detail.
Better integration of public transport and improved active travel facilities have also made it through the finalised South West Scotland Transport Study, which has been published today.
A continuous programme of improvements for the A77 and A75 including partial dualling, bypassing and other upgrades to replace existing low-quality stretches of the road with higher quality, more efficient and safer alternatives will also be considered as will the development of better freight facilities, especially to support the timber industry in the area.
The publication of the report follows a consultation in which most respondents agreed that the strategic transport interventions proposed address the problems, opportunities and objectives of the area either ‘very well’ or ‘well’.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The publication of the South West Scotland Transport Study is a significant milestone in improving connectivity for the area and more than twenty options will now go on for more detailed consideration as part of the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).
“In compiling the report, Transport Scotland has taken local opinion into account and produced a range of potential interventions which can lead to a more integrated and sustainable network serving communities across the region. The options recognise the commitments in the forthcoming National Transport Strategy to protect our climate and help build inclusive economic growth while improving our health and wellbeing.
“We would like to thank those who participated in all stages of the study. This included our transport partners, active travel organisations as well as community councils and businesses who provided valuable insight into the future transport needs of the area.”