A SWATHE of improvements to Scotland’s transport network have been recommended as part of a major review.
The Union Connectivity Review, published tomorrow, sets out how all parts of the country could be better linked.
Conducted by Sir Peter Hendy, former chairman of Network Rail, it recommends specific plans to upgrade the A75, A77 and the West Coast main line, as well as boost connections between the South of Scotland and England’s North East.
As previously reported, a fixed connection – either tunnel or bridge, between Scotland and Northern Ireland – was being considered as part of the review after the Prime Minister announced he would like to see such a construction.
However it was subsequently scrapped when it emerged it would require a feat of engineering never achieved previously, and could disrupt Beaufort’s Dyke – a lethal munitions dump in the Irish sea.
Boris Johnson has appealed directly to the Scottish Government to work together on projects that he insists will deliver much-needed improvements throughout the country.
Mr Johnson said: “With some of the busiest travel corridors for both passengers and freight, strengthening transport connections between Scotland and the rest of the UK is critical to maximise the potential for growth and jobs.
“Sir Peter Hendy’s review identifies key areas where we can boost rail, road and air links to better support Scottish businesses and communities, and we will work closely with the Scottish Government to take these proposals forward in ways that will bring our towns and cities even closer together.”
The Scottish Secretary Alister Jack echoed the request to the Scottish Government, adding: “I thank Sir Peter for his work and I believe his central recommendation – the creation of a UK strategic transport network – lays the foundation for linking up the home nations much more effectively, boosting our economy and levelling up opportunity around the country.
“His specific proposals for upgrades to the A75 and the West Coast Main Line, plus rail and road improvements on the east coast corridor from North East England to South East Scotland will be welcomed by businesses, commuters and leisure travellers alike. As will him encouraging the Scottish Government to improve the A77 to support journeys between Belfast, Glasgow, and Aberdeen.
“Our task is now to turn the vision into real improvements. I urge the Scottish Government to work with us to make that happen so we can deliver the benefits travellers want and businesses need.”