South Scotland

Dumfries to Stranraer rail route return among transport options

Old train Image copyright Roger Cornfoot
Image caption The Dumfries to Stranraer line was shut in the 1960s

Reopening a Dumfries to Stranraer railway is one of a string of options still on the table for the future of transport in south west Scotland.

Draft proposals have been published and are now out for consultation.

The report for Transport Scotland has narrowed down dozens of potential options to a total of 23.

They include partial dualling of the A75, new stations in a number of towns and increasing the HGV speed limit on trunk roads to 50mph.

The study looked at the entire Dumfries and Galloway region as well as southern parts of South and East Ayrshire.

Image copyright Les Hull
Image caption Reopening the line across Dumfries and Galloway is one of a string of options being looked at

It has now come up with a long list of projects to be taken forward to a national strategic transport review.

They include:

  • better transport integration at main hubs like Dumfries, Lockerbie and Stranraer
  • new railway stations at Cumnock, Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit, Pinwherry, Beattock and south of Ayr
  • new rail lines between Dumfries and Stranraer and Dumfries and Lockerbie
  • an HGV speed limit increase
  • "capacity enhancements" like partial dualling of the A75, A77 and the route between Dumfries and the A74(M) motorway plus bypasses on the A76

However, some ideas were not taken forward.

They included full dualling of the A75 and A77 or the creation of a new link road from Dumfries to the motorway which were not recommended to be progressed due to their cost and environmental impact.

Image copyright David Dixon
Image caption Full dualling of the A75 has been ruled out by the study

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said a lot of work had been done during the study to "develop a good understanding of the issues and opportunities" for transport in the area.

"The draft report will now be available for eight weeks to allow all those with an interest to provide comments on it," he said.

"Following this, the emerging recommendations will be considered as part of the nationwide strategic transport projects review which will set out future transport infrastructure investment priorities.

"We have already had valuable local input into the study with more than 3,000 people contributing and we will keep them updated as work progresses."

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