SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed a fresh government commitment to consider further upgrades to the A75 as part of a national transport plans.
In a letter to the MSP this week, Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the road would be included in the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) which priorities capital investment projects across the country.
Ms McAlpine contacted the minister after Upgrade the A75 campaigners Danny Pool and Adam Little asked her to pass him accident figures from the road that they had obtained.
In his letter to the MSP, Mrs Yousaf acknowledges: “The important role that the A75 plays in supporting the economy of Scotland.”
He continues: “Both the National Transport Strategy (NTS) and the STPR will be updated in this parliament to make sure that they remain “fit for purpose”.”
Mr Yousaf also provided official statistics which show that the accident rate on the A75 is generally lower than for routes of an equivalent type elsewhere in Scotland.
During 2014-2016, the number of accidents per 100 million vehicle kilometres on the A75 was 10.2 on the single carriageway. This compares with a national average of 14.7.
And the long term trend in overall accident figures on the A75 shows a reduction of 46% from 1979.
Ms McAlpine said: “Any accident is deeply regrettable. While these figures show the A75 accident rate is falling and below average, they also underline the case for further dualling as that cuts accidents. The figures also demonstrate that other roads in Scotland have a higher accident rate. These are the places we will be competing with to get onto the Strategic Transport Projects Review and the National Transport Strategy.”
“That is why I have myself made a submission to the strategy outlining the strong economic case for further dualling on the A75.”
“Since 2007, the SNP Scottish Government has invested over £104 million in managing, maintaining and upgrading the A75 – including the Dunragit Bypass and the Hardgrove to Kinmount upgrade.
“Clearly this investment has improved safety. The forthcoming projects review means we have an opportunity to get more local projects onto the long term national transport infrastructure plan.”
Explaining the process for monitoring road safety, Mr Yousaf said:
“Transport Scotland assesses the safety performance of the trunk road network, including the A75, on an annual basis by screening all locations where three or more personal injury accidents have occurred in the preceding three year period. Further investigations are carried out and where appropriate, mitigation measures are prioritised and delivered. This ensures that the limited funding available can be targeted at those locations that provide the greatest accident casualty savings.
“Alongside accident clusters, we also look at accident patterns and rates in the form of Route Accident Reduction Plans. This ensures that the fullest possible consideration is given to accidents that may be spread along a corridor.”