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Monthly News Bulletin

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A77 One of Top Five Deadly Roads

THE A77 is one of the top five most deadly roads in the country, according to new Scottish Government figures.

The road which runs from Fenwick, north of Kilmarnock, to Portpatrick was named in a new report as the fifth deadliest road with 41 people being killed on it from 2002 to 2006.

Although the majority of the road is in Ayrshire it is the main route used by people from Stranraer and surrounding towns when travelling to Ayr or Glasgow.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown was not surprised by the figures showing how dangerous the road was. He said it was clear there was a need for upgrades and asked the Scottish Executive to deliver the money. Mr Brown said:

"This highlights how important it is that the Scottish Executive stops talking warm words about upgrading our trunk roads - that includes the A75 as well - and starts investing in and delivering improvements."

While he campaigned for better roads, Mr Brown admitted a number of accidents were down to driver error. He called for increased driver training and restrictions to be placed on new drivers.

The MP said laws could be passed to prevent new drivers from driving at night or stopping them from carrying passengers for a period after passing their test.

He also called for a mandatory year's training before sitting the test, all of which he hoped would cut down the number of accidents and deaths on the roads. He said:

"Only through this dual approach of better roads and safer driving will we save more families from the heartbreak of losing a loved one so needlessly."

A spokeswoman for the A77 Safety Group echoed what Mr Brown said and agreed further education and enforcement were needed to cut the number of deaths. She said:

"In particular the pilot installation of the SPECS camera zone between Bogend Toll and south of Girvan is showing positive results with the number of people being killed or seriously injured in accidents being halved since the system was introduced."

A Scottish Government spokesman said the safety of Scotland's roads remained a top priority.

He said the figures could be misleading, as shorter roads might have a higher number of accidents per mile.

FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK'S FREE PRESS

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