With the help of Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, Falkirk Council and West Lothian Council will this week make their case for funding for the A801 Avon Gorge upgrade.
The meeting will take place on Thursday at 1pm in the Scottish Parliament, with the Minister for Transport, MSPs from the Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change committee, and Lothian and Central Scotland MSPs.
“The Councils have been making progress,” said Cathy, “including with the design and land purchase. To complete the development, they are looking for Scottish Government support.
“After all, the Scottish Government has identified the Grangemouth intermodal transport hub as a crucial element of Scotland’s economy – and the transition to more environmentally friendly freight transport. In this context, the A801 is not just a local road. It is the shortest arterial route south to the M8. If it wasn’t already so congested and dangerous, more traffic would use it, reducing travel distances and times.
“It is essential that the upgrade is built, not only to improve the safety of the road, but also to address the volume of traffic that Scottish Government plans will bring. It will benefit not just local users, but Scotland as a whole, and it is therefore only right that there should be a major contribution to the cost from central government. We shall use this meeting to put that case.”
Council leader Linda Gow welcomed the meeting and thanked Cathy for her longstanding commitment and support for improvements to the A801. “The administration at Falkirk Council together with West Lothian Council are extremely pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of the A801 in the National Planning Framework,” said Cllr Gow, “and we hope that they will help in bringing this long term problem to a positive solution and help to put the new development in place.
We are at a stage where as soon as funding is in place we are ready to start the project. As time goes on costs will go up so we would appreciate an early decision on this from the Government.”