‘JOBS AT RISK’ DUE TO STATE OF A75
Call for upgrading work
Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack yesterday warned that a lack of investment in the A75 could threaten the jobs of those who depend on the region’s main port.
Mr Jack, speaking in a Westminster debate, called for major improvements to the Euroroute which carries around 45 per cent of Northern Ireland’s trade with the rest of the UK via Cairnryan.
The MP said: “This trunk road is a key artery of Dumfries and Galloway’s local economy and I fear that if we do not see a sustained programme of upgrades to the A75 in the very near future then it will have a detrimental social and economic effect, something that my constituency can ill-afford.
“The port of Cairnryan is home to two international ferry companies which operate ferries to and from Belfast and Larne in Northern Ireland. It is a route of strategic economic importance and a major hub for freight and tourism movement.”
He fears haulage companies will start to abandon the route and switch to the alternative between the Welsh port of Holyhead and Dublin unless significant investment is made in the A75.
He added: “Poor road links to and from the ports is putting them at an extreme disadvantage and, in turn, threatening the jobs and livelihoods that depend on these ports.”
Mr Jack revealed that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had agreed to visit the region and see the issues on the route for himself.
Stena Line’s trade director for the area, Paul Grant, added: “Access to and from Scottish ports is severely lacking compared with other UK hubs.
“Local politicians need to engage with other stakeholders to get the Scottish and Westminster governments to work collaboratively to push for a fit for purpose road network system.”
The Freight Trade Association is also calling for investment on the A75, turn to page seven for more.
Investment needed The A75 road
Job fears MP Alister Jack claims livelihoods could be at risk unless the A75 is upgraded