DUALLING the A9 between Inverness and Perth by 2025 is a “fairy story”, a senior Highland Council figure has argued.
Convener Bill Lobban has criticised the work by Transport Scotland so far, as the first stretch nears completion after two years of construction.
Eighty miles of the busy road will need to be dualled within the next eight years if the target is to be met.
The Kincraig to Dalraddy section, in Councillor Lobban’s Badenoch and Strathspey ward, is due to open fully this summer but the convener blasted the Scottish Government for waiting until this stretch is finished before putting “a single spade” in the next.
“The A9 Kincraig to Dalraddy started years ago and it’s only nearly finished now,” said Cllr Lobban, who joined the independent administration after defecting from the SNP earlier this year.
“It’s not a big section, it’s easy and there are no major junctions but yet they still haven’t stuck a single spade in the ground in the entire rest of the route between Inverness and Perth. It’s all supposed to be finished by 2025 but I’m led to believe the tooth fairy is going to do the work.
“They now only have eight years to finish the entire project, that is a fairy story.
The time taken to finish the Kincraig to Dalraddy route has left Transport Scotland with seven-and-a-half years to complete the 10 remaining areas, but a spokeswoman insisted this week it could be finished on time. She said: “We are committed to dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness by 2025.
“The work is progressing apace with the Kincraig to Dalraddy section due to open to traffic this summer and bidders now being sought for the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam section.”
Despite the assurance, Transport Scotland was unable to give a timeline indicating when work on each section was planned to begin and end.