NOW that the much-heralded Queensferry Crossing has joined the Forth Road Bridge and the upgrades to the A8 to make a continuous M8 east to west across central belt, when can we expect an upgrade to the A7 and the A68 through the southern counties of Scotland?

I ask as, when I highlighted the lack of investment in the roads network in the Borders some time ago I was told by local MSP, Christine Grahame, that there was no plan to improve the A7, far less convert it to motorway status, as “we have had to provide a new crossing over the River Forth and we simply cannot afford it”.

She went on there was no justification anyway to have motorways in the Borders “as the amount of traffic doesn’t warrant it”. I pay the same road tax for my car as a motorist in Glasgow with the same vehicle and I am as entitled to a decent road as he or she is. That is the justification for building a motorway network through the Border counties, taking in the M7 and the M68 and why not the M72 as well?

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We have been promised for some time by Keith Brown that the Scottish Government is to “finish off the roads network in Scotland”. Scotland is more than the Edinburgh to Glasgow corridor and it is good to see that, even in that area, people are asking for signage pointing out that we have Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. The M74 doesn’t just run from Glasgow to Carlisle. There are places in between just as there are places along the line of the A7 “Alternative Historical Route to Edinburgh” quite apart from Galashiels and Edinburgh.

The road network will not be finished until the A7, the A68 and the A1 are upgraded to routes worthy of the 21st century. Police Scotland does not recognise the Border roads as trunk roads, although they are designated as such. One can sometimes side with the law-keepers even if they are not a “national” force either. We in the Borders valued our G Division officers and offices but these were mostly taken away so it isn’t any wonder that a centralised service cannot cover our road.

Give us a roads policy and a road maintenance and improvement strategy run, as formerly, by the local authorities and the local engineers who knew about the local problems and needs.

Transport Scotland isn’t doing the job for us so let’s get back to the local authorities working together to build our roads. Who knows, they might just bring in jobs and industry and even tourism, something that appears to be beyond our centralising politicians.

W Kenneth Gunn,

10 Halliday’s Park,


I ENDORSE Ian Gray’s letter (September 11). There are several extant but passenger-less rail lines, as well as new builds, that could help transform the rail network.

It is Glasgow (indeed Scotland’s) Crossrail that could be the catalyst to reshape and transform rail services by enabling “one journey” inter-urban and inter-regional services, relieving the capacity restraints at Glasgow Central and Queen Street and alleviating the requisite transfer between the two.

Paisley Gilmour Street and Stirling/Falkirk Grahamston could provide ideal regional interchange stations with other services, being either side of the “great divide” of Glasgow’s two stations and ScotRail’s separate network of routes north and south of the River Clyde.

Andrew Stephen, chairman,

Cumbernauld Commuters’ Association,

71 Cedar Road, Cumbernauld.