The long awaited bypass for Maybole could be subject to further delays due to a pending public inquiry.
Transport Scotland confirmed to the Gazette this week that a public local inquiry is to be held to determine the best way forward for the bypass.
This is due to objections to the scheme which if built is hoped would help ease congestion along Maybole High Street.
A date for the inquiry has not yet been set and is to be determined by Scottish Government Reporters who received the documents for road orders and a compulsory purchase order for the land earlier this month.
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Following objections to the A77 Maybole bypass scheme, we are currently taking forward arrangements for a Public Local Inquiry. Once this is complete, we will await a decision before we can progress our plans for building a bypass at Maybole.”
The proposals for a bypass remain one of the longest running sagas in Carrick with the scheme first being mooted by the Scottish Office over 40 years ago when it commisioned Ayr County Council to investigate a scheme to construct a bypass through Maybole.
Since then there have been various reports produced showing in detail the benefits and impacts a bypass would have for the town and the surrounding area including the links to the Cairnryan port and Prestwick International Airport as well as further afield.
A Maybole by-pass committee was also set up a number of years ago with local residents making their voices heard in various marches and through petitions to relevant politicians to show their support for the scheme.
Transport Scotland say the scheme will lead to improved road safety for local communities and road users alike and provide better journey time reliability for motorists and businesses along the full length of the A77.
In 2013, a public exhibition was held at the Carrick Centre in Maybole which displayed the designs for the bypass to locals and allowed them to comment on the plans.
The public local inquiry will allow anyone including objectors the right to take part and comment providing they have given adequate notice to the directorate for planning and environmental appeals ahead of the public local inquiry.
The Scottish Government say that its aim for public local inquiries is to hold them as near as possible to the appeal site and where possible to use venues with good disabled access.
The directorate for planning appeals is currently aiming for a target date of September 17 so yet more delays to the completion of the bypass seem inevitable.