CALLS have been made for major investment in Inverclyde's crumbling main road network.

The area's MSP, Stuart McMillan, says much more needs to be done by the Scottish Government to address a catalogue of issues with the busy A8 and A78 routes operated by its agency Transport Scotland.

Mr McMillan, along with Inverclyde councillors Chris Curley and Elizabeth Robertson, has invited transport secretary, Michael Matheson, to visit the district and see first-hand the problems motorists have to put up with.

The SNP trio say congestion and lack of alternative routes when the carriageways are closed are major problems - along with potholes.

Mr McMillan said: "Problems with the trunk road network locally form a huge part of the casework my staff and I deal with.

"Correspondence addressed to Transport Scotland leaves my office on an almost daily basis and the time has come for this agency to step up and deliver for Inverclyde.

"I'm the first to praise any agency when they get the job done, as I've recently when a large section of the A78 was resurfaced.

"However, much more needs to be done to improve our roads, decrease traffic congestion and find alternative routes when bad weather shuts the A8 or A78.

"I'd also very much welcome the cabinet secretary to Inverclyde to see first-hand the local challenges the trunk road network creates and ask that he seriously consider pushing Transport Scotland in a positive direction when it comes to Inverclyde."

The MSP and his two party colleagues have written to Mr Matheson explaining their concerns.

Port Glasgow councillor Mr Curley, who is the SNP's environment and regeneration spokesperson, said: "The A78/A8 roads carry 13,000 vehicles a day which pass through Inverclyde on top of the vehicles going to and from Inverclyde.

"If we can identify ways to relieve this traffic this will have a significant effect on improving the urban environment, encouraging people into Inverclyde.

"Infrastructure should connect people and places together, but if you look at, for example, the A78 flyover at the Oak Mall you can see how this is not the case in Inverclyde.

"Strategic investment by Transport Scotland working in partnership with Inverclyde Council and other stakeholders could help drive the regeneration of Greenock, presenting opportunities that would not be there otherwise.

"We all have our part to play."

Councillor Robertson, whose constituency includes central Greenock and parts of the A78, says road improvements can also help boost visitors to the area.

She said: "We need to remind everyone, by every means possible, that Greenock's unique, historic and cultural town centre can be their destination - not just somewhere to pass through."