Transport Scotland has said that improvements to the Bellfield Interchange may be possible in the future.

The busy roundabout has long been earmarked for upgrades by local authority representatives.

It serves as a major connection for the A76, A71 and A77 roads.

This week, East Ayrshire Council leader, Douglas Reid, said Transport Scotland's lack of enthusiasm for improvement works at the Bellfield interchange was "scandalous".

The council has previously been unsuccessful with two attempts to secure cash for an upgrade from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

READ MORE: Transport bosses' 'scandalous' stance on Ayrshire's busiest interchange

Despite the interchange not being the council's property, a council report stated that Transport Scotland - the Scottish Government's transport department - have indicated for a number of years that they expect the council to fund upgrades to the interchange.

It also says the government has not made improvements to the interchange a priority in its list of infrastructure commitments lasting until 2042.

Despite this, transport bosses say that Bellfield Interchange "is an example of possible locations highlighted for further consideration for potential improvements."

Cllr Reid also said that he would seek to bring Transport Scotland bosses, as well as transport minister Fiona Hyslop, to East Ayrshire to look at the interchange for themselves.

Ayr Advertiser: Councillor Douglas Reid wants to find a solution.Councillor Douglas Reid wants to find a solution. (Image: East Ayrshire Council)

Transport Scotland said they would be open to being involved in discussions for a plan moving forward.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) recommends (No. 40) that safety, resilience, and reliability improvements are made on the A75 and A77 strategic road corridors, in turn supporting placemaking opportunities.

"The A77 Bellfield is an example of possible locations highlighted for further consideration for potential improvements.

"Progression of this will be based on considerations of accident history and other factors such as competing needs for capital funding in transport across Scotland.

"However, this does not supersede or negate the need for the transport impact of development to be adequately addressed by the planning authority, in this instance East Ayrshire Council."

They added: “The Adopted East Ayrshire – Local Development Plan (LDP) (2018) includes the commitment from the Council that it will implement short to medium term improvements to the A77 Bellfield southbound off slip.

“The transport appraisal prepared by East Ayrshire for their second LDP identifies an impact at Bellfield as a result of their spatial strategy which has resulted in the need for improvements costing in the region of £7.7m.  

"Transport Scotland has engaged with the Council throughout the preparation of both LDPs providing advice on the impact to the trunk road network, the need for clarity on the funding and delivery of required infrastructure and to ensure the plan is consistent with the National Transport Strategy 2.”

“Transport Scotland officials would be amiable to a meeting with the Council, if they thought that would be helpful in moving the situation forward.”