Road investment used to be universally accepted as a positive driver of progress and prosperity in Scotland.

Every political party in Scotland used to agree that better roads were safer and better for the overall health of our economy.

But in recent years, that has changed. Most of the other political parties are now against or have become apathetic to the pressing need for improving our roads.

They don’t seem to realise that people need their cars to get to work. Motorists often don’t have another affordable and reliable option except to drive.

I still see improvements to vital local roads like the A76, A77 and A70 as a necessity.

Cumnock Chronicle: MSP Sharon Dowey and fellow Conservative representatives had been spreading the message of their 'What's the rush?' campaign.MSP Sharon Dowey and fellow Conservative representatives had been spreading the message of their 'What's the rush?' campaign. (Image: MSP Sharon Dowey)

They should be high up the Scottish Government’s list of priorities for Scotland’s transport network.

Investment in the A76 has the potential to drive economic development. By investing in the modernisation of our infrastructure, we could reduce accidents and congestion, potentially saving lives and promoting road safety.

A well-maintained and efficient road network is a powerful magnet for tourists, further contributing to economic growth.

The A77, on the other hand, plays an important role as a transportation corridor, especially for heavy goods vehicles. Cairnryan, situated along this route, serves as the fastest and shortest commercial link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meaning it has huge strategic importance.

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As for the A70, it serves a pivotal role in linking Cumnock to Ayr. We need to invest and uphold the quality of this road as it is essential for ensuring safety and fostering regional connectivity.

Of course, it’s not only our roads that need additional investment. Local rail services in Ayrshire are in desperate need of upgrades. As it stands, too many people in Ayrshire can’t easily get a train to travel to work or to meet with friends and family.

Reopening the Cumnock station would be a big boost to local people looking to travel by train. And it would also help to meet our net zero ambitions.

I’ll keep campaigning hard so that people in Cumnock get the road and rail services they deserve.

It’s only by investing in our local infrastructure that we can foster regional growth, develop our rural communities, support our valuable tourism sector, and ultimately enhance the overall well-being of the people they serve.