Tories are on the wrong road

So, John Lamont wants better roads in the Borders and blames the SNP Government for “turning its back on the Borders”.

Methinks the Tory MSP complains too much and without looking at the history of trunk and main roads.

Up until 1997 the Westminster Government and its transport minister were responsible for all roads in the UK, although a quick look at that body’s record may give cause for concern as the M6 and A1 both stopped far short of the Scottish border as far as investment and upgrading was concerned.

From 1997 through to 2007, I seem to recall that it was the Labour Party who had a kind of “executive” running Scotland under a devolved regime, along with the Lib Dems, and even then there was no investment in any major roadworks between the border and the M8.

In 2007, a major breakthrough came when the first SNP Government came to power at Holyrood, but in a minority situation we saw Labour, Tory and the Lib Dems oppose most things simply because they could. Only since May 2011 have we seen a majority SNP Government after an election that the entire devolution process was supposed to make impossible.

Yes, John, we need more and better roads in the Borders, both north-south and east-west, but why not get on to your mates in Westminster and ask them why there has been a total lack of spending almost from the Second World War on any major road construction which could bring commerce and industry to this part of the country. Ask, too, why it was the Tories who scrapped plans to dual the A7 from Galashiels to Eskbank during the 1980s.

The Scottish Government is hamstrung by a lack of capital from the Westminster Government run by John’s friends, so perhaps he can bring a few hundred million pounds of Scotland’s oil cash back to his own country to spend on the roads – if he asks that nice Mr Osborne or even that nice Mr Cable.

Kenneth Gunn

(councillor for Selkirkshire)