Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

A75 Safety Record is a Scandal

It remains one of Scotland’s busiest roads – yet has been closed by crashes for more than 167 hours!

The A75 – which runs between Gretna and Stranraer – carries thousands of HGVs every year between the UK and Northern Ireland.

However official figures reveal the key artery in the south of Scotland has one of the poorest safety records.

Emergency services have been forced to close it on no less than 34 occasions because of accidents in the last four years alone.

Yet despite the shocking statistic the SNP Government has steadfastly refused to invest any money improving road safety on its infrastructure.

Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, described the situation as “scandalous” and demanded an immediate rethink by the Scottish Government.

He said: “Successive Scottish Government have promised investment to upgrade the A75 but have repeatedly failed to deliver on them.

“Not only is the road crucial to the local economy but also the national one yet transport ministers have struggled to recognise that.

The Scottish Conservative MSP continued: “Crucially we are also talking about many lives being put at serious risk on a daily basis because drivers become impatient by being held up by lorries heading to the ferry port at Cairnryan.

“They inevitably become impatient and take chances often resulting in nasty crashes or vehicles veering off the road.

“Like most of the local communities along the A75 I have been campaigning for it to be turned into a dual carriageway in order to save lives but our calls are being totally ignored by the SNP Government.

“Perhaps when they see this catalogue of incidents and the actual number of times the road has been closed they may have a change of heart. However I seriously doubt it.”

The local MSP has previously written on numerous occasions calling for the A75 and the A77 to be upgraded as a matter of urgency.

He added: “Despite the importance of both roads they have not even been included in the latest  government transport plans for the next five years.

“Any future investment appears to be earmarked for nationalist heartlands rather than where it really matters most and where it would have a significant impact.”

Mr Carson has already provided a submission to the Union Connectivity Review presently being undertaken by Sir Peter Hendy.

He said: “Hopefully he will recognise the important role that the A75 plays in the south of Scotland because clearly the Scottish Government has no interest and didn’t even allow Transport Scotland officials to be involved in the review.”

The most serious recent accident happened in January 18 when an HGV milk tanker and a car were involved in a collision at Barlae on the A75.

As a result of the accident, the tanker left the road and ended up in an adjacent field resulting in the A75 being closed by police for more than 14 hours.

According to Transport Scotland figures obtained from SPICe – the information centre – the road was totally closed in both directions on 17 occasions.