Jul 22 2011 Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A MAYBOLE bypass could be paid for if the Scottish Government is given new borrowing powers.
The news comes in a week where transport minister Keith Brown visited the town to see for himself the problems caused by the huge volume of traffic in the area.
But he admitted that funding isn’t currently available.
MSP Adam Ingram invited Mr Brown to the town to meet with the community.
He explained: “I am delighted the minister has come to Maybole to see for himself the problems associated with the heavy traffic flow through the town.
“He was impressed with the arguments put forward by representatives from both the community council and the bypass committee
“Whilst the minister pointed out the difficulties he had with £800million cuts being made by Westminster to capital budgets in Scotland, he did leave the door open for further progress to be made.
“He highlighted the upcoming Scottish Government spending review this autumn as an opportunity.
“I certainly recognise the financial constraints the Scottish Government are under. However, if increased borrowing powers can be gained for the Scottish Parliament, it is our task to ensure a bypass for Maybole is high on the list of spending priorities.”
Community representatives told Mr Brown that a bypass plan has been on the agenda for more than 40 years.
David Kiltie from Maybole Community Council prepared a leaflet tracing the case for a Maybole bypass and the progress towards its realisation.
He highlighted the long history of the campaign, several promises regarding its construction and the importance of a bypass in creating an atmosphere conducive to tourism.
He also pointed out that Maybole High Street is largely unchanged since the time of Robert Burns, despite its current high volume of traffic, including HGVs. The leaflet explains that the case for a bypass has the full backing of South Ayrshire Council, who have provided a letter of support, and went on to outline the significant economic and environment impact on Maybole.
Peter Mason explained to Mr Brown why it is vital that accident statistics beyond the town itself should also be considered because of the number of vehicles who use other routes in an attempt to avoid the area.
Mr Mason also raised concerns over the refusal on the part of Transport Scotland to grant permission to install additional pedestrian crossings, speed limits, traffic calming etc on the grounds that the A77 is a Euroroute.
The Minister asked for clarification to be sought about these restrictions and expressed his appreciation of having the opportunity to meet, hear of, and to see problems in the town.
He said: “We recognise the importance of the Maybole bypass to both Maybole residents and business as well as the wider links to the Loch Ryan ports and will look at opportunities to progress it when funding becomes available.”