Less than 16 days after the last closure, the A77 has once more been closed to all traffic for up to 12 hours, resulting in a 75-minute detour for traffic using Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port.
The most recent closure overnight on 6th November comes on the back of the 24-hr closure of the A77 following severe flooding on 21st October when the port was in virtual lockdown mode for over 24 hrs.
Although this closure was pre-scheduled to facilitate remedial landslip road works, it now brings to five the number of times one of the main arterial routes to the key ferry ports at Loch Ryan, the UK’s third largest port gateway, has been closed to traffic.
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North) said: “Whilst we appreciate that remedial work needed to be carried out on this section of road due to a previous landslip issue, the cumulative effect of ongoing disruptions is becoming more and more debilitating on our day to day port operations at Loch Ryan. Five major disruptions already in 2017 is a major concern to us and the various businesses and tourism initiatives we help to support.
Paul Grant added: “We have voiced our concerns to the Scottish Government on a number of occasions and would again urge the Transport Minister and his colleagues to prioritise an Action Plan for the road infrastructure improvements to and from Loch Ryan, including the A75. The simple fact of the matter is that this economic driver for the South of Scotland has not attracted the level of road infrastructure investment it should have done over the years and the time has now come to find a long-term solution rather than piece-meal tweaks which fail to address the root problem, accessibility. Poor road access and poor rail connections continue to impede the Scottish economy.
Loch Ryan is in competition with other major ports around the UK who have already made the transition via sustained infrastructure investment, Loch Ryan should not be left behind. Stena Line has invested heavily in a new port and ships, it’s time that accessibility is given the same priority.”
NOTE TO EDITOR: For further information please contact Lawrence Duffy of Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast (028) 9073 0880.