North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet have agreed on ambitious plans to improve the B714 link between Dalry and Saltcoats which could see the road upgraded to Trunk Road status.

With construction of the Dalry by-pass under way, the B714 will become the missing link between North Ayrshire’s by-pass network.

Currently, there are plans to upgrade a section of the road between Girthill Farms and Yonderhouses.

However, a more comprehensive improvement to the route could be achieved through the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Like motorists who use the road, we want proposals which will offer the best possible, long-term benefit.

“At the moment, plans are continuing to develop for the Ayrshire Growth Deal which we hope will have major positive effects for the Ayrshire economy.

“As part of that, a Regional Transport Appraisal is being shaped which will look at our transport links and what opportunities exist to support economic growth.

“We want the B714 – as the main route between Saltcoats and Dalry - to be part of that appraisal, so it makes sense to see if a more ambitious and comprehensive blueprint can be drawn up for the route.

“This could potentially result in the B714 being upgraded to a Trunk Road providing a better link between A737 and the A78 as well as improving the journey between North Ayrshire and Glasgow.”

The improved connectivity between the North Coast area of North Ayrshire and Glasgow would increase the potential for tourism and economic growth and also provide enhanced links to the Arran Ferry and Hunterston.

The Council also believes that rather than undertake minor realignment works, the route would benefit from more comprehensive improvements which would reduce journey times and accident rates, in addition to providing a more direct route between North Ayrshire and the M8.

The proposal, which will be a major upgrade of the B714 as part of a Regional Transport Appraisal, was accepted by Cabinet yesterday (Tuesday) and it will allow the improved proposals to be included in a Transport Summit with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders, which is currently being arranged.