Work to improve road networks in southern Scotland has gotten underway following an official launch by transport minister Keith Brown.

The series of schemes will cost £37 million and will contain projects including the construction of the A77 Symington and Bogend Toll Improvement in South Ayrshire while the A75 Dunragit Bypass and the A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount in Dumfries and Galloway will also be included. The developments are aimed at improving efficiency and ease of access across this part of Scotland making journeys simpler for motorists.

R J McLeod has been named as the contractor for the A77 Symington and A75 Dunragit jobs, while McLaughlin & Harvey will be responsible for delivering the A75 Hardgrove scheme. Officials confirmed that all three improvement works are expected to be completed by 2014 boosting road networks in the areas.

The A77 Symington and Bogend Toll is set to cost £10.6 million to finish and will involve the building of new bridges over the site between Spittalhill Interchange and Dutch House roundabout. It is aimed at being able to raise the speed limit from the current 50mph to 70mph enabling quicker journey times for commuters.

Officials noted that the A75 Dunragit Bypass has been estimated at a £17.1 million cost and will be instrumental in improving the Euro-route. This section of road connects Scotland and the UK to Europe via the ferry terminals situated at Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway. The introduction of 5.3km of new carriageway will help to improve safety by raising the number of overtaking opportunities.

The final £9 million scheme will deliver 3.6km of new road benefiting journey times and bettering safety. All these improvements are designed at creating a more efficient road network in Scotland and help commuters and tourists alike navigate around the country. The upgrade in roads to the ferry terminals will make it easier for people to travel across the sea and visit places in mainland Europe.

Mr Brown said: “On completion, the new road improvements will enhance journey time reliability and improve safety on the A75 and A77. These will bring real improvements on key routes to and from our the Cairnryan ports, as well as providing better connections across south-west Scotland.”

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