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 December 08 | Glen App and Haggstone

South west Scotland gets roads improvements Christmas present

A 27 million investment in three vital road improvement projects is set to bring benefits to road users across the South West this Christmas, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said today.

Two of these projects - on the A77 at Glen App and Haggstone - have finished three months ahead of schedule, and a third project, an upgrade of the A76 near Glenairlie due to be finished in late December, will provide additional overtaking opportunities.

Meanwhile, the de-trunked section of the existing A76 is being converted to a cycleway and finishing works should be complete by the end of January.

All three schemes will open up economic opportunities by improving journey times and connections across  Dumfries and Galloway.  The investment will also bring faster, more efficient access to the important ports of Cairnryan and Stranraer.

 Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"I am delighted that this important work on the A76 and A77 is complete. .

"The routes provide economic lifelines, linking central Scotland to Dumfries and Galloway whilst providing vital access to the ports of Cairnryan and Stranraer.  To see the work on the A77 being completed so far ahead of schedule is particularly pleasing.

"This 27 million investment will bring improved connections for local communities, businesses, freight and tourists. The efficiency we have seen in the delivery of the scheme shows just how the collaborative approach adopted by Transport Scotland and contractors RJ McLeod and Raynesway can bring real benefits.  

"This is more good news for the region following the announcement of our Strategic Transport Projects (STPR) review last week - a review which is  at the leading edge of transport planning. This Government has set out our future transport ambitions for Scotland over the next 20 years and made clear that our investment priorities for the South West include vital upgrades to the A75, A76 and A77, dualling of the A77 around Ayr and a new Dalry bypass."

The work at Glen App has delivered just under a mile of new carriageway and was carried out in conjunction with a carriageway widening project at Haggstone, two and a half miles north of the Cairnryan ferry terminal. Both projects were carried out by RJ McLeod.

The A76 Glenairlie project, managed by Raynesway Construction, involved widening just under two miles of carriageway to provide improved overtaking opportunities to both directions of travel.

Meanwhile, another A77 improvement scheme continues to progress as the consultation on the 11 million Symington to Bogend toll project has come to a close.  Transport Scotland has received a number of statutory objections for this scheme and, while it will continue to work with objectors to resolve these, it is likely a Public Local Enquiry (PLI) will be held in the new year.

A PLI is always anticipated for a scheme of this significance and the statutory process has already been factored in to the project programme . Work is expected to begin in 2010 with the construction phase lasting approximately 12 months.


Note to News Editors:

1) Transport Scotland is the new national transport agency responsible for road, rail and national concessionary travel. Transport Scotland is a Government agency directly accountable to Scottish Ministers and came into effect on 1 January 2006. For further information visit

2) The Glen App scheme involved almost three quarters of a mile (1.3 km) of road widening using 18,600 square metres of tarmac.  The fill used for the project (132,000 cubic metres) weighed the same as 174 ferries.

3) The Haggstone project involved just over 1 mile (1.8km) of road widening (incorporating 1km of  climbing lane) that required 23,000 square metres of tarmac.  The project also saw 150,000 cubic metres of soil cut from a slope with a maximum height of 15 metres.  Almost 4000 'soil nails' were used to improve stability of the slope and if these nails were laid end-end, would stretch 20,000 metres or 12 miles, roughly the distance from Girvan to Ballantrae.


4)  The A77 Symington & Bogend Toll Improvement Scheme is being developed to improve safety on the A77 trunk road by providing grade separated junctions at Symington and Bogend Toll. This will allow the existing gaps in the central reserve to be closed between Bogend Toll and Dutch House roundabout on the A77. 
5) The A76 Glenairlie scheme involved constructing almost two and a half miles (3 km) of widened carriageway to provide alternate overtaking in both directions,  The project involved excavating almost 92,000 cubic metres of earth, laying 104,000 metre square of road surfacing and 17,000 metres of white lining.  Other features included three otter underpasses,  700 metres of dry stone dyke and almost two miles of cycleway.



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