Campaigning for major investment and improvements for South West Scotland’s transport infrastructure since her election to the Scottish Parliament, South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has now taken urgent action by calling on Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

Ms Harper, who has held several ministerial meetings, spoke in and held members debates, raised numerous parliamentary questions and engaged with businesses, stakeholders and constituents on the subject – is now calling for constituents across the region to back her calls for an inquiry by writing to the committee to reaffirm their support and to show how important this issue is both locally in the South West and to wider Scotland.

Ms Harper has created a draft letter which can be found on her social media for constituents to use, should they wish. A copy of the letter sent by her to the committee is also available.

In addition, Ms Harper has also tabled a parliamentary question to ask the Scottish Government whether it agrees that transport infrastructure across South West Scotland – namely the A75 and A77 – is economically and strategically important for the passage of goods, services and people from Scotland and the UK to Northern Ireland and Europe.

Commenting, Ms Harper said: “I believe passionately that the Scottish Government has a track record of delivering policies which improve the lives of people and communities across Scotland. However, I do share the view of many in our region that investment in our transport infrastructure – namely the A75 and A77 – has been woefully inadequate.

“Following my progress to date – meeting with business and stakeholders in Northern Ireland and Scotland, holding debates and lobbying the Scottish Government – I feel that now more than ever we must keep up the momentum. I have therefore written to the Convener of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee to hold an inquiry into our South West transport infrastructure – which is vital to Scotland, the UK and Europe.

“I am asking all constituents across the region to help me by taking action and writing to the committee to back my calls for this inquiry which I believe will show how strategically and economically important our South West Scotland’s transport infrastructure is internationally.

“It is time for us in the South West to have a plan from the Scottish Government about how it is going to improve our transport infrastructure to both make Cairnryan attractive and easy for businesses to use and access, and to bring business, people and investment to our region.

“I am more than happy to talk to any constituent about this action and look forward to people across our region taking action by backing my calls for the committee to take this issue seriously. I feel encouraged by conversations I have had with the committee convenor – Edward Mountain MSP – and I await his response on how much scrutiny can be included in the future workplan.

outh Ayrshire Councillor Peter Henderson said; “The urgent need to address the roads infrastructure in the South West has lacked attention for too long. The A77 and A75 are vital links for the area in order to attract and develop industry, improve tourism and improve road safety. With the advent of Brexit the need is even greater for the port of Cairnryan and all routes to and from it; as it appears that it will have further demand as the country leaves the EU.

“A major problem is that during the frequent closures of the A77 due to accidents or maintenance is that large volumes of traffic are diverted onto minor roads never designed for the large vehicles. These diversions are extremely long and time consuming and the current infrastructure is not designed to cope. The South West requires the infrastructure now and South Ayrshire Council are happy to support future development and always have been”.