§ Mr. Mackinlay
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans there are to improve transport links from Stranraer to the main road and railway routes in the vicinity of Scotland's border with England.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The recent review of Scotland's key roads confirmed that the upgrading of the 479W A75, linking Stranraer to the A74, has substantially eliminated the operating difficulties on the route. However, there are minor schemes within the trunk roads programme for further improvements which emphasise safety and overtaking opportunities. The financing of these schemes will begin once projects of greater priority have been completed. With regard to rail links I understand that ScotRail and Dumfries and Galloway regional council are investigating the possibility of restoring a short section of track at Ayr to allow the Stranraer-Carlisle service to run via Mauchline. This could reduce the present journey time between Stranraer and Carlisle by around 25 minutes.