SNP South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has continued to stand up for Dumfries and Galloway’s vital transport infrastructure needs in the Scottish Parliament, following her re-election last month.
The South Scotland MSP, who in the last parliament was a strong advocate of the region’s transport through calling for the Scottish Government to invest in the A75, 76, 77, as well as improved bus and rail connections – has redoubled her efforts through raising the region’s transport with the Scottish Government’s new Transport Minister last week (Thursday 10 June).
In her question, the South Scotland MSP welcomed the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2) which identified several transport infrastructure projects across the region – including the reopening of Beattock Rail Station, a continuous series of improvements to the A75, A76 and A77 and the re-establishment of the Stranraer – Dumfries and Cairnryan – Stranraer train lines.
However, Ms Harper insisted that the Government must be forthcoming with timescales for the STPR2 recommendations to be implemented by the Government, and she pointed out that the Scottish Government engaged with over 2,000 Dumfries and Galloway residents in bringing forward the STPR2, unlike the UK Government Union Connectivity Review which engaged with zero people across the region.
Commenting, Ms Harper said:
“Over the past five years, I have continually made the case for our region to have major transport infrastructure upgrades and spending. I have engaged with the local community, local action groups and businesses alike – even over the last fortnight – and I have no doubt that people across the region want to see speedy upgrades to our vitally important transport routes, whether they be road or rail.
“I welcome that the Scottish Government have brought forward the STPR2 which has a number of important recommendations such as reopening the Beattock Rail Station, upgrading the A75, A76 and A77 and re-establishing the Stranraer – Dumfries and Cairnryan – Stranraer Rail Lines. However, we must have timescales on when these recommendations will be implemented, hence why I asked this of the Government.
“In response, the new Transport Minister confirmed that the Government will be forthcoming with a timescale for the STPR2 recommendations to be implemented and I will continue to press for our region to receive the investment it both needs and absolutely deserves.
“I would also point out that during the question session in the Parliament, the Tories seemed more interested in playing politics with the interests of our communities than in constructively securing investment. They raised the UK Government’s Union Connectivity Review which has engaged with zero people across our region, unlike the Scottish Government’s approach which has engaged over 2,000 local Dumfries & Galloway residents.”
(Header image credit www.scottishshale.co.uk/)