South Scotland

Scottish government defends A1 improvement record

A1 in Scotland Image copyright Google

The Scottish government has responded to calls for "significant improvements" to the A1 north of the border.

Conservative MP John Lamont and MSP Rachael Hamilton said it was time it "stopped dithering".

They called for action and claimed the UK government had recognised the route's weaknesses and was prepared to invest to tackle them.

A Scottish government spokesman said it understood the importance of the road to communities and as a transport link.

Mr Lamont said: "For too long the SNP government has only paid lip service to the A1 and not addressed those issues that hold back growth in Scotland.

"The A1 is vital to the Borders economy, particularly Berwickshire's, which is only being held back the SNP's inaction."

Ms Hamilton backed his calls.

'Safe route'

"The inadequacies of the A1 are plain for us all to see, but seemingly not the SNP," she said.

"I want to see the dualling of the A1 and I want to see significant improvements made that will help not only the Borders' economy, but also Scotland's."

The Scottish government spokesman said it recognised the importance of the route to local communities and its strategic importance.

"Our analysis suggests it is a generally safe route with few reliability issues," he said.

"The majority of the road in Scotland is dualled and our operating company, Amey, carries out regular reviews and takes action to improve safety where required.

"Transport Scotland has recently started work on a Borders Transport Corridors Study which is examining the case for an extension of the Borders railway along with improvements to the A1, A7 and A68."

He added that the Borders Railway was also a huge opportunity for the area and the Borders Blueprint Group was working to ensure it reached its full potential.

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