Home   News   Article

A9 and A96 dualling timetables given 'cautious' welcome by Highland MSP – but she warns doubts remain

By Philip Murray

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Rhoda Grant was among those at the latest stakeholder meeting in Inverness.
Rhoda Grant was among those at the latest stakeholder meeting in Inverness.

The latest timetables for dualling the A9 and A96 have been given a 'cautious' welcome by a Highland MSP – but she is still "not too confident" they will be met.

Rhoda Grant, a Labour list MSP for the Highlands and Islands, was speaking after the latest stakeholder briefing was held in Inverness yesterday morning.

Despite being unconvinced the latest plans and timescales for the dualling will be met she is hoping the region now gets "some progress on the dualling which was promised so long ago".

The stakeholder briefing yesterday was attended by a mix of campaigners, business leaders, Police Scotland and elected members who were advised of the latest timescales and plans for completion of the road.

Mrs Grant said it was good to see the timeframes in place but stressed that much of the actual construction work will not be carried out until the end of the project and MSPs need to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government until then to ensure timeframes don’t slip again.

She asked what would happen when an anticipated seven stretches of the road will be under construction concurrently and what will happen during periods of winter weather to ensure the traffic still flows.

A Transport Scotland official advised that the intention is to have one lane on each carriageway open where at all possible and when not possible, traffic management will be in place. In terms of ensuring the road stays open during periods of winter conditions, the MSP was advised that the appointed contractor will have responsibility to ensure gritting and snow clearance takes place to allow the flow of traffic to continue.

Commenting afterwards, Mrs Grant said: “Like everyone else in the room this morning, I had a fear that these timescales and promises could slip again. It is however my job, and that of every elected politician in the Highlands to ensure timescales do not slip and to seek regular assurances from the Scottish Government that all is on time.

“People in the Highlands and Islands are angry and let down by the Scottish Government and there is, very understandably, trepidation about the plans going forward.

“The cabinet secretary designate, Fiona Hyslop, said the A9 is the transport backbone of Scotland and we need to get the promised work done to improve safety and journey times."

Mrs Grant concluded: “I welcomed a question from the floor seeking a commitment to improve the A9 north of Inverness too and while no commitment was offered on this, it does no harm to remind Ministers that the A9 goes right the way to the top of the Scottish mainland and this should be on their agenda going forward too.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More