A MAJOR study into transport infrastructure across the UK, which has highlighted the need to dual the A75, has been welcomed by Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell and constituency MSP Oliver Mundell.
The report into improving UK connectivity concludes the A75 is strategically vitally important for Scotland, England and Northern Ireland as well as the people of Dumfries and Galloway, yet has been neglected and starved of investment.
Both David and Oliver Mundell, who have have campaigned over many years for upgrades, today called on the Scottish Government to respond positively to the report and work with the UK Government to bring about the much needed improvements on the busy route as a matter of urgency.
The interim conclusions of the Union Connectivity Review, led by Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy, points to the fact the key trunk road is currently mostly single-carriageway.
David Mundell said: "This report highlights once again the need to upgrade the A75, not just from a road safety perspective, but from a UK-wide strategic and economic one.
"The Report is important, but what we really need is action. There has been so much talk over the years, but virtually nothing has happened on the ground. The SNP used to claim the A75 was Scotland's forgotten road and made all sorts of promises, yet after 14 years in power few have been delivered.
"It is time for the Scottish Government to finally step up to the mark and now work with the UK Government to get the job done. No more ifs or buts. No more excuses. We need action now."
Oliver Mundell said: "This report is a huge leap forward in the campaign to improve the A75 -- after 14 years of an SNP Government who have kicked the can down the road. It is positive to see our region put on the map when it comes to future investment.
"I am glad to see the UK Government recognising the potential that exists in Dumfries and Galloway and the unique opportunities our geography presents if properly supported.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the failure to invest in our local roads and infrastructure is holding the region back and the town of Dumfries in particular suffers as a result.
"Following this positive intervention there is now a real opportunity for both governments to work together and deliver for local people. I really do hope the SNP can put politics behind them and do what is right for our region which they have so often ignored all together."
Douglas Ross MP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said: "On my visit to the region last year I saw first hand how much an upgrade to the A75 was needed. I know just how hard local Conservative politicians have been working to deliver progress and this is yet another example of where we have made a difference in making sure the cross-border interests of Dumfries and Galloway are heard."
He added: "It is clear that whatever the SNP say this has not been a priority for them but there is a real chance of action and it is not too late for them to get behind the plans."