Jun 27 2012 By Craig Robertson
THE FIGHT to upgrade the A75 has been won.
And it’s thanks to the pressure being put on the Scottish Government by the thousands of readers who signed up to our Time to Act campaign.
Finance minister John Swinney announced in the Scottish Parliament this morning that funding was being made available for the long-awaited upgrade.
He said the work would cost £20 million and that he expected it to start at "the turn of the year".
It comes on the same day that the signatures of 4,352 Standard readers on a petition are being presented to Transport Minister Keith Brown.
The Standard's campaign was launched after the death of 18-day-old Oliver Hewson who was killed in a crash on the route in March.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said: “I am delighted at this news, like many of my constituents I have been campaigning for this improvement for many years.
“The reversal of the decision by the Scottish Government to suspend the scheme is a testament to ‘people power’, with over 4,000 signatures to the petition run over recent weeks by the Dumfries and Galloway Standard.
“It is tragic that lives have been lost and people seriously injured on this stretch of road over the years and I would like to pay tribute in particular to Oliver Hewson’s brave family, who have campaigned for this improvement despite their terrible loss.”
Oliver's mother, Suzanne Hewson, said: "This is brilliant news."
Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell said: "The A75 upgrade is a testament to democracy and highlights the hard work and determination of everyone involved.
"The people have spoken and ultimately common sense has prevailed.
"As this project goes ahead we should all pause to remember those for whom this announcement came too late and in particular their families who have fought so hard to prevent further fatalities."
The Hardgrove area of the A75, near Carrutherstown, has been at the centre of upgrade talks since 1986.
And a £10 million plan to build a three-lane bypass of the area has been put off twice since 2008.
See more in Friday’s Standard.