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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13642: Brian Whittle (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 22 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of applications to develop the sites serviced by the interchange being objected to by Transport Scotland on the grounds that the infrastructure was insufficient to support these developments, and reported concerns that traffic queuing down the access ramp onto the main trunk road being potentially dangerous, whether it will upgrade the Bellfield Interchange over the A77 at Kilmarnock, and what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 11 January 2018

The Scottish Government currently has no plans to upgrade the A77 Bellfield Interchange. In the past 5 years, Transport Scotland has been consulted on 4 separate planning applications potentially affecting the Bellfield Interchange and did not object to any of these.

Transport Scotland seeks to support development proposals which can be demonstrated to have limited impact at Bellfield Interchange or otherwise be able to mitigate their impacts on junction performance.

Like many regions served by the trunk road network, this area has seen an increase in local business, industrial and residential developments over the years which has helped to grow Scotland’s economy. However, this growth brings extra pressure on surrounding infrastructure. Transport Scotland continues to work with the local planning authority in examining the authority’s aims through their Development Plans and specific planning applications, in accordance with Scottish Planning Policy.

Scottish Planning Policy, in relation to Development Management, dictates that, where existing infrastructure does not have the capacity to accommodate a development without adverse impacts on safety or unacceptable impacts on operational performance, further investment is likely to be required and the cost of the mitigation measures required to ensure the continued safe and effective operation of the network will have to be met by the developer.

In respect to longer term development planning, the East Ayrshire Local Development Plan was adopted on 3 April 2017 and includes actions for the Planning Authority (East Ayrshire Council) to progress studies to understand the impact of development on Bellfield Interchange over the coming years. This work will be progressed through consultation with Transport Scotland and other relevant stakeholders.

Vehicle activated signs were installed in September 2017 to warn trunk road users of impending traffic queues and this location will continue to be monitored following the introduction of the vehicle activated signs.