Feb 17 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
MORE than £20 million will be spent on upgrading an accident blackspot on one of Ayrshire’s busiest roads.
The Scottish Government has announced the bounty of cash will be released to improve the A77 at Symington and Bogend Toll.
The South Ayrshire stretch is receiving £21 million of a £72 million transport fund aimed at improving journey times, relieving congestion and making roads safer.
And the big news has been welcomed by Adam Ingram, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, who says the project is long overdue.
He said: “I am delighted with the announcement which brings to fruition a long promised and long delayed project.
“This upgrade is vital for our local economy and the safety of the local communities.
“This is very good news for the local area and will be a welcome step forward in ensuring the Symington Bogend Toll junctions are made safe.
“It also fits well with the SNP government’s announcement of an Enterprise Zone for Prestwick Airport and will help attract new investment and new jobs for the Aerospace Park.
“Campaigners have fought tirelessly to have this upgrade and I have had many exchanges with the Transport Minister Keith Brown on this matter where he assured me that when the funding became available the works would be progressed.
“We kept the A77 and safety concerns at these junctions at the top of the SNP government’s agenda stressing the need for a strategic road network that is fit for the 21st century.
“Our continuing investment in transport infrastructure projects has been helping the hard pressed construction sector, directly creating and supporting thousands of jobs.
“We are using every possible opportunity to support economic recovery, create growth and maximise the effect of every pound spent.”
And the news was also praised by Ayr MSP John Scott, who insisted it must be followed by a quick start to the work.
He said: “The allocation of this funding is a welcome further step towards delivering a comprehensive package of safety improvements on the northern A77 but we now need to see swift action to begin the construction work.
“Certainly the delays that have held up this project – which it must be remembered was originally meant to have begun in 2006 – mean that these safety works, which will undoubtedly help improve road safety on this notorious stretch of the A77, cannot come soon enough.”