Drivers stuck in slow lane
Speed limit of 50mph to remain on A77
The speed limit on the main artery into South Ayrshire will remain frozen at only 50mph – sparking anger among commuters and the business community.
That’s 20mph lower than it was before £ 10.6million of improvements on the then Bogend Toll to Dutch House Roundabout stretch of the A77.
Furious commuters say it puts Ayr in the slow lane for business and trade connections.
The big dangers in the road were sorted when two fly- overs were constructed, meaning traffic no longer cuts across the dual carriageway.
But critics say a failure to install a proper “crawler” lane exiting Hansel Village is now being seen as the main stumbling block.
And a Tory source said: “The SNP spent £ 10million but have failed to make this road a safe 70mph zone.”
Two years ago the then Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “It is right to return this section of the route to the national speed limit.”
The news of the 70mph surrender was sent out in a letter from Transport Scotland operations manager Stuart Wilson to furious Prestwick resident Iain Ferguson.
Roads bosses said it had taken THREE YEARS to make the decision and claimed objections – there were 18 – to putting the limit back to 70mph “could not be resolved”.
Iain Ferguson said: “There are about 23 accesses on to the road, most of them from fields and very few of them have had any change as a result of the rework. The exception is Hansel Village where the access/ egress road has moved a little bit north and lost its ‘ speed up/ slow down’ facility.
“This should be reinstated. It would require the moving of a lamp post, or how about access via the Underwood Road?”
The decision has been blasted by South Scotland MSP Brian Whittle who branded it “an apparent U- turn”.
He said: “There are some serious question for Humza Yousaf and Transport Scotland to answer in this case. Having spent millions of pounds in the name of making this road safer, they appear to be saying that it’s still not safe enough for cars to travel faster than 50mph.
“Drivers and residents around the A77 were promised this section would be made safer and the national speed limit would be restored.
“I have written to Transport Scotland and the Transport Minister for an explanation”
Jeane Freeman, the constituency MSP for the stretch of road, insists it was money well spent and failed to comment on the 50mph limit.
The SNP MSP said: “The biggest priority was always the safe access on to and off of the A77 at the Symington and the B730 junctions. That has been achieved with the construction of both flyovers.
“Thankfully with improvement works, the number of accidents on this section of the A77 have fallen dramatically. That will always be money well spent.”
Brian Whittle “I think there are some serious question for Humza Yousaf and Transport Scotland to answer