MSPs in plea to warn drivers

South Scotland SNP MSPs have written a joint letter to the chief executives of both Transport Scotland and Highways England, asking to ensure people crossing the border are made aware of differing Covid-19 restrictions in the two countries.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 2:50 pm
The MSPs want drivers going over the border to be given information on the Covid-19 regulation differences.

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale joined South Scotland list MSPs Emma Harper and Joan McAlpine in signing the letter, asking that electronic signage on the main cross-border arterial routes have clear, up-to-date messaging on lockdown advice.

They stress that this is as a result of their constituents’ concerns that many people coming to visit Scotland from other parts of the UK are not necessarily familiar with the differences in the restrictions, causing unnecessary confusion and even animosity with local businesses and residents.

Ms Grahame told us: “While I welcome people coming to visit the Borders – world-renowned for its history and outstanding scenery – we want to ensure that people enjoy the area safely and understand that in Scotland we have our own approach to easing the Covid-19 restrictions, which differs from the approach taken by other parts of the UK.

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“To this end, we have jointly written to the chief executives of Transport Scotland and Highways England to request that electronic road signage on cross-border routes between the two nations reflect the differences.

“Scotland has made excellent progress towards stopping the spread of Covid-19, and now as we are starting to see more of our tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses open, we want to ensure this good progress continues while keeping local communities safe.

“One way to inform people is by ensuring that everyone is aware of the measures which are in place in Scotland, as they head north, and England as they head south, which we encourage everyone to follow.

“We look forward to hearing back from both Transport Scotland and Highways England soon.”

One of the differences the MSPs are keen to relay to visitors from England is the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces, and they say electronic signage is a good way to relay such information.

The request comes two weeks after first minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned a group of people at Carter Bar who told English visitors to go back home.