Driv­ers stuck in slow lane

Speed limit of 50mph to re­main on A77

Ayrshire Post - - Maybole News - Stephen Hous­ton

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

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