Stranraer trains to Dumfries coming soon?

A blueprint for the future of transport in Galloway gives backing for a railway link between Stranraer and Dumfries for the first time in half a century.

However, the same scheme dashes long-held hopes of full dualling of the A75 trunk road.

The long-awaited review of the area’s road and rail links by Transport Scotland has now been published.

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And its draft proposals have been put out to consultation with local public bodies and organisations.

The local highlight of the recommendations is the proposal to restore a direct Stranraer-Dumfries rail link for the first time in 54 years.

It has long been thought ridiculous that travelling between the ‘capital’ of Galloway and its Dumfriesshire counterpart takes, on average, nearly four hours and costs over £18.

This is seen as an anomaly in what is now the Dumfries and Galloway Council unitary authority area.

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While good news for train-users, there are less glad tidings for drivers with a full dualling of the A75 ruled out on cost and environmental grounds. However, there will be some consolation in a proposal to at least part-dual the A75 and A77.

And the transport industry will be pleased with a raising of the speed limit on these roads to 50mph for HGVs.

Commenting on the blueprint, Scottish Government transport minister Michael Matheson said: “The draft report will now be available for eight weeks to allow all those with an interest to provide comments on it,

“Following this, the emerging recommendations will be considered as part of the nationwide strategic transport projects review which will set out future transport infrastructure investment priorities.”