South Scotland

Dumfries summit starts transport 'conversation'

Transport mix Image copyright Other

A summit has been held in Dumfries to examine the key transport issues facing the south west of Scotland.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf chaired the event at Easterbrook Hall on the Crichton campus.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney also attended the summit looking at concerns about road, rail and bus services in Dumfries and Galloway.

Among the issues discussed was increased investment in the A75 from Gretna to Stranraer.

"We have said that we will be reviewing the National Transport Strategy, it needs that review," said Mr Yousaf.

"That's a strategic 20-year look at transport across Scotland - that initial conversation is starting with the summit here today."

However, he said it would be "silly" to have come to Dumfries with a list of plans before listening to communities.

"We have got to listen to what they want," he said.

"We are going to put that - in four weeks' time - to the public, it will be publicly available and the public will be able to give us their thoughts on what is being said and what is being suggested.

"Then we will continue the conversation - this will not be the last time I will be in Dumfries and Galloway - so we will be back again."

'Major disappointment'

Dumfriesshire's Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell described the summit as a "huge missed opportunity" and said the failure to promise any investment was a "slap in the face" for local people.

"This transport summit was historic but for all the wrong reasons as it turned out to be a major disappointment in terms of a lack of action from the Scottish government for much-needed transport projects in this region," he said.

"The SNP have been in power for almost a decade and had a perfect opportunity here to outline a timescale for investment to the people of Dumfries and Galloway, yet all we had again was a talking shop and it's turned out to be a huge missed opportunity for real action.

"I didn't expect John Swinney to come to Dumfries with his hard hat and shovel on to the meeting but I would have thought he could have opened his wallet up to help support many projects that local people have been fighting for years to achieve."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites