Business off M74 call for road signs marking out local attractions

Residents of southern Scotland are calling for road signs on the M74 directing motorists to local attractions, claiming the current situation makes it look like there is 'nothing between Glasgow and Carlisle'.
The River Nith and old bridge at Dumfries, Scotland.The River Nith and old bridge at Dumfries, Scotland.
The River Nith and old bridge at Dumfries, Scotland.

An online petition calling for “at least one” blue sign naming Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to be added to the motorway has attracted more than 2,200 signatures.

The campaign was organised by Robertson Wellen, a local bed and breakfast owner who said the discrepancy had bothered him for years.

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He decided to take action after becoming infuriated with the signs during a recent drive down the M74 from Glasgow.

“Current signage south of Glasgow only contains ‘South’ and ‘Carlisle’, giving tourists and other travellers the impression that there is nothing between Glasgow and Carlisle,” the petition says.

Describing Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders as “Scotland’s hidden gems”, the petition adds that the rural economies of both areas could be handed a much needed boost if new signs were added.

“Both of these beautiful regions offer a wealth of activities, attractions, awarding winning food and drink and accommodation which are often currently overlooked by the thousands of tourists who use the M74 to travel south after holidays in the Highlands, central belt and other more intensively advertised areas of this wonderful country.”

Mr Wellen, who runs Ferintosh Guest House in Dumfries, said the situation was a “constant source of frustration”.

“Our south Scotland rural economy depends on tourism and we need the number of visitors to Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to increase,” he told the BBC.

“It has bothered me for years so I thought I would ask some other business owners how they felt. They agreed with me so we set up the petition to see if there was any support for new signs.”

Colin McQueen, another B&B owner who has also signed the petition, said it was important for Dumfries to be “on the road map”.

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A spokesman for Transport Scotland spokesman said the agency hoped to have Lockerbie, Dumfries and Gretna included on new signs by the end of the year, adding that there were already “a number” of brown road signs pointing to local tourist attractions.