>> 12 Sep 2004

The Tartan Road to Nowhere

Billy Bell MLA, an Ulster Unionist member of the Stormont farce, has praised the construction of the main M1 motorway snaking from Dundalk to the northern suburbs of Dublin. Fine by me! I have nothing against proper cross-border transport networks; they are commonplace across much of Europe. What I find a little ripe is the absence of any calls from Northern Ireland politicians for the upgrading of the A75 Carlisle to Stranraer road in southern Scotland. After all, this is Ulster's main artery to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Whilst money has been pumped into the A55 trunk road from Chester to Holyhead, a road that is now dual carriage for its entire length thanks to the recent addition of the section from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch to Holyhead town, the same cannot be said for the A75. It is a road recommended as punishment for deserters. After leaving the M74 at Todhills in Cumbria, the road meanders its way as a single carriage road all the way to Stranraer harbour. Considering that Stranraer and its neighbour, Cairnryan, serve two of the busiest ports on the island of Ireland, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask for adequate road connections to the rest of the UK.


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