Minister agrees to fact-finding trip to discuss case for Selkirk bypass

Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf with A7 action group members Marjorie McCreadie, left, and MSP Rachael Hamilton.
Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf with A7 action group members Marjorie McCreadie, left, and MSP Rachael Hamilton.

Calls for an A7 bypass around Selkirk are being stepped up, and Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf has agreed to make a fact-finding trip to the Borders this summer.

That pledge follows a meeting with A7 Action Group members at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh arranged by Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton.

It also follows the publication last month of Jacobs UK’s Transport Scotland-commissioned study of potential ways forward for the region’s road and rail links, a Selkirk bypass being one of the options for further consideration.

Signage from the M6 motorway to the Borders, landslips at the Dunk Corner near Hawick and other accident blackspots were discussed at the Holyrood meeting too.

Mrs Hamilton, co-chairman of the group, has asked Mr Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, to keep members updated on feedback generated by the Borders transport corridors pre-appraisal study and suggest ways of strengthening their case for improvements to the A7 Edinburgh-Carlisle route.

She said: “I was glad I was able to facilitate a meeting between the A7 Action Group and the transport minister.

“Engaging with the minister will hopefully expedite much-needed upgrades to the A7 that will help with safety, as well as improving journeys on the road.

“Improving road and rail links is key to bringing jobs and prosperity to the area.

“A bypass for Selkirk is badly needed, and I look forward to being able to continue lobbying the minister on this issue.

Group secretary and founder Marjorie McCreadie added: “The A7 Action Group was delighted to meet once again with the minister and discuss face to face the problems that exist on the A7 trunk road.

“We were pleased also that the minister listened to our thoughts regarding the Selkirk bypass and the retrunking of the A7 north of Galashiels, and we look forward to him visiting the area later in the year.”