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Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


Savings Add Up With Electric Cars

Electric cars travel up to three times the distance of their petrol or diesel rivals for the same amount of money, according to research.




With interest in electric cars rising, many potential buyers are left confused by the way running costs are explained, with ‘miles per kWh’ difficult to compare to ‘miles per gallon’.

To help consumers, car reviews and advice website has developed a way of showing how far your car will go on a single pound - regardless of what fuel it runs on.

The figure – dubbed 'miles per pound' (mpp) - reveals how much a car can travel for £1 of petrol, diesel or electricity.

The study found the Kia e-Niro First Edition and the Renault Zoe 65kW are the most efficient models on sale in the UK today, with the cars capable of travelling 33.1 miles per pound (mpp) of electricity.

This is more than three times as far as the most economical version of the Ford Fiesta (9.3mpp), the UK’s best-selling vehicle, when using official testing figures.

With the average UK motorist driving around 7,150 miles per year, they would spend just £216 over a 12 month period if they charged their Kia e-Niro or Renault Zoe from home.

The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range was the third most economical, covering 32.3mpp, while the Volkswagen e-Golf was fourth on 30.8mpp. calculated the cost for electric cars based on home charging prices rather than using public charging points, as costs for public charging can vary wildly.

The mpp data is also only available for cars on sale since 2017 and that are also currently available to buy.

For this reason, the Hyundai Kona Electric, which could travel 30.8mpp, does not appear on the list as it is sold out due to high demand.


Keith Adams, editor of, said: “We created miles per pound as a way of demystifying the running costs of electric vehicles (EVs) because above and beyond their range, and how long they take to charge, there is little uniformity in how carmakers express just how much energy these cars use.

“As interest in EVs becomes more widespread, there remains a lot of confusion around running costs but the MPP figure generates a figure that is relatable to anyone.

"In a nutshell, it tells you how much it costs to drive any EV after plugging it up at home and topping it up on domestic electricity.

“In addition, miles per pound should help drivers who know how many miles they cover in a year to work out up-front fuelling costs, and possibly choose a more expensive electric car over its petrol counterpart.

“Taking fuelling costs into account, monthly costs for internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and electric vehicles (EVs) are much closer than the gap in list price might suggest.

"On something like a Volkswagen Golf, going electric will save you around £70 per 1,000 miles.

“And interest is rising. People are searching before they buy. Traffic to our Electric Cars section has grown by 80 per cent since the beginning of 2019, and it’s continuing to accelerate strongly.” based the price of electricity on the cost per kilowatt hour on a domestic tariff, while petrol and diesel is based on the AA Fuel Price Reports.

The mpp metric has been launched as the EV market continues to grow.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), sales of purely electric cars are up by more than 200 per cent in 2019, with the market share increasing from 0.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent.

Keith Adams added: “As range improves, electric cars are becoming a more and more enticing option and the miles per pound tool really drives down how cheap these zero emission vehicles are when you’re on the road.

“While it’s easy to be put off at the price of an electric car, when you look at it from a monthly costs perspective the prospect is all the more attractive.

"The running costs are low, there is zero road tax and, from next year, zero company car tax, too.”



South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall have welcomed “game changing” plans by Scottish Water to invest around £3 million to reduce the risk of flooding in Annan.



The local Labour politicians have been campaigning for the investment since flash flooding hit the town in July 2017 and this week met up with Scottish Water at the planned site for the work in Newington Park ahead of a public exhibition on the plans.

The proposals would involve the provision of significant storm water storage tanks in the Park as well as improvements to the local sewer network.

The work in Newington Park is expected to start in early 2020 and be completed by Summer 2021 and aims to reduce the impact of flooding by providing protection to a 1:10 year storm event.

Once the work is completed in the Park, as a bonus new park equipment will also be installed by Scottish Water. The proposals went on display at a drop in event in St Andrew’s Social Club in Annan earlier this week.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “These proposals from Scottish Water really are game changing and are exactly what Sean and I have been campaigning for. This is a major investment that will significantly reduce the impact of any flooding in and around Newington Park and is long overdue. Since I was contacted by residents hit by the flash flooding in July 2017 and Sean and I have urged Scottish Water to take action. We are pleased they have responded so positively with these plans.  The scale of the work proposed will inevitably cause some disruption during construction including closing the park and will take more than a year to fully complete but will make a real difference in the long term. In the meantime, we have urged Scottish Water to work with residents to keep them fully up to date as work progresses and provide any temporary support they can such a pumps in gardens, should we see have any flooding before the work is completed”.

Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall said, “Having met with concerned residents on a number of occasions who are desperate for a long term, permanent solution to the flooding of their properties and in light of the most recent flooding that occurred in this area only weeks ago, I am delighted that after meeting Scottish Water Officials along with Colin Smyth MSP this week, Scottish Water have confirmed they will be investing £3M on a project that will "hopefully prevent any more flooding in this part of Annan".

Whilst work is due to commence in January 2020 and parts of Newington Park will not be able to be used for over 12 months due to the extent of the project, it will be well worth it as not only will there be a solution to the flooding at the end of the works the project also includes an extra bonus of the the installation of a new playpark and equipment at Newington Park".

As More Cabinets Are Switched On, Is Your Business Going Superfast ?

Whether you work from home or use premises having reliable fast broadband is now a fundamental part of your business - big or small.




Did you know, that thanks to the £460 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme over 58,000 homes and businesses across Dumfries and Galloway can now access fibre broadband? . It's the first time the programme has brought fibre broadband to Mochrum, Mouswald and Newbridge with more fibre cabinets also now live in Sandhead, Mossyard and Kirtlebridge. 

Find out how fast broadband can help your business BY CLICKING HERE

Upgrades are not automatic, so in order to benefit from fast broadband you need to sign up with a service provider. You can check if the services are available at

DSSB is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – funding partners also include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT Group, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Across Scotland over 936,000 premises can now access fibre broadband thanks to the programme – over 5,000 new fibre street cabinets are now live and more than 13,000km of cable has been laid by engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s digital network business. Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps1 and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.

Research has suggested that every public pound invested in fibre broadband in Scotland is delivering almost £12 of benefits to the Scottish economy. The independent report commissioned by DSSB and undertaken by consultants Analysys Mason estimates the total benefit from investment as £2.76 billion over 15 years.

Sara Budge, Director of DSSB said: “I am delighted that the programme has connected so many businesses in Dumfries and Galloway.

“Getting online is important. Superfast works hard to help you work faster. From downloading large files via Dropbox to uploading tender submissions, high speed means less stress.

“Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from."

Midsteeple Quarter Seeking Views Ahead of Stage 2 Development

The community is invited to an exhibition and information event for the next phase of the Midsteeple Quarter project for the town centre. Midsteeple Quarter are a community led regeneration initiative by people of Dumfries to create a new high street, with a mixture of retail, enterprise, social, leisure and housing.

Midsteeple Quarter have been working closely with architects and planners to come up with exciting ideas, but still stay true to the historical character of Dumfries and make a town centre fit for generations to come.




At the exhibition people will see the architect’s vision for the High Street, with research information gathered about the heritage of Dumfries and what their ideas have been inspired by. Features include high quality housing available at affordable rents, sustainable retail space suited to new local enterprise businesses, spaces for the community and flexible working.

The purpose of the exhibition is to show the feasibility study for the next phase of the project and get feedback from local people which will be used to further refine the ideas and be included as evidence in funding applications to raise the money to implement these plans.

Scott Mackay, Chair of The Midsteeple Quarter Board, commented: “This is an important opportunity for the community to have their say in the vision for MSQ and the future of the High Street. We look forward to presenting our ideas and listening to what the people have to say. Everyone is welcome!”

People ideas and opinions have been at the core of Midsteeple Quarter from the get-go. Its really important that people come out and share their views about this exciting next stage. Midsteeple Quarter are keen to hear people’s ideas and opinions. It’s important that the community has a voice there is so much knowledge and experience locally, and this is what the vision needs to be based upon.

Even if you’ve not been involved in the project before, this is your chance to find out about one of the most exciting things happening in our town. The exhibition will be open to the public on Thursday 10th October from 6pm until 8pm and Saturday 12th October 11am until 4pm at The Oven, 135-137 High Street, Dumfries. More information on the Midsteeple Quarter website:


The Scottish Government must listen to the calls for the upgrade of the A75 and A77 by ferry firms if they are serious about supporting the local economy, according South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth.



The comments come as Stena Line, P&O Ferries and Belfast Harbour this week launched an unprecedented attack on the interim findings of the South West Transport Study recently published by Transport Scotland. The firms claimed the proposals were “insufficient” and instead called for the A75 and A77 to be made dual carriageways to prevent the loss of business to England and Wales.

Colin Smyth said “This is an unprecedented intervention by the ferry firms and highlights the deep anger and betrayal they feel over the lack of investment on the A75 and A77 by the Scottish Government. When the then First Minister Alex Salmond opened the new Stena Ferry terminal at Cairnryan he talked about the three r’s- roads , rail and regeneration. But on all three it has been fail, fail, fail by the Government. If they are serious about supporting the local economy across Dumfries and Galloway they need to listen to major businesses and the community and commit to the upgrade of the A75 and A77. The Government have said they will spend £3bn on upgrading the A9 between Perth and Inverness.  How about committing to giving the south-west a fair share for once instead of leaving it as the forgotten part of Scotland?"