Pe­ti­tion protest over A76 lights

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Ben Ra­m­age

A pe­ti­tion call­ing for an end to the tem­po­rary traf­fic lights that have blighted the A76 for three years has been pre­sented to the Trans­port Min­is­ter.

The plea for ac­tion to re­pair a land­slip at En­terk­in­foot to al­low the trunk road to re­open gath­ered more than 800 sig­na­tures in a month.

It was or­gan­ised by com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor John Hol­royd and last week it was pre­sented to Trans­port Min­is­ter Humza Yousaf by south Scot­land MSP Joan McAlpine.

She said: “The traf­fic lights at En­terk­in­foot have been in place for three years now, await­ing a re­pair to the road.

“The A76 is the main road be­tween Dum­fries and Kil­marnock. It is used heav­ily by lor­ries, other traf­fic, as well as young peo­ple trav­el­ling to school and col­lege. It is clearly not sus­tain­able to have traf­fic lights in place for this length of time.

“When I spoke to the Trans­port Min­is­ter, I ex­plained that ide­ally this re­pair would be done im­mi­nently, but if this is not go­ing to hap­pen, an in­di­ca­tion from Trans­port Scot­land about a timetable for the re­pair would at least help al­lay fears that this is go­ing un­no­ticed.”

Dum­friesshire MSP Oliver Mun­dell has called for ac­tion on the A76 for sev­eral months, and be­lieves there is a “clear bias” to­wards re­pair­ing and in­vest­ing in trunk roads in the cen­tral belt.

He said: “Mo­torists on the A76 have had over 1,000 days of mis­ery and now we see that it is one of only two ma­jor roads in the en­tire coun­try to have suf­fered this blight of traf­fic lights de­lay­ing their jour­neys for over two years.”

Scot­land Transerv, re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of the trunk road net­work in the re­gion, drafted in en­gi­neers to in­spect the road fol­low­ing a land­slip in 2015.

A Trans­port Scot­land spokesper­son said: “We ap­pre­ci­ate the de­sire of the lo­cal com­mu­nity for the tem­po­rary traf­fic lights to be re­moved. This is a pri­or­ity scheme for Trans­port Scot­land and a sub­stan­tial pro­gramme of work is tak­ing place to en­able this to hap­pen.

“Ground in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­taken ear­lier this year at this dif­fi­cult site, where the road is sup­ported by steep slopes that lead down to the River Nith.

“The en­gi­neer­ing ap­praisal of the im­prove­ment op­tions is on­go­ing and the out­come from this ex­er­cise will en­able the scope, form and de­liv­ery time­frame for the works to be fi­nalised.”

Pe­ti­tion pre­sented MSP Joan McAlpine with Trans­port Min­is­ter Humza Yousaf

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