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A9 campaigner calls for transparency on Scottish Government's new dualling plan

By Val Sweeney

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Laura Hansler, of the A9 Dual Action Group.
Laura Hansler, of the A9 Dual Action Group.

A leading voice in the A9 dualling campaign says complete transparency is needed following today's announcement of new Scottish Government plans.

Laura Hansler, who lives just a field away from the A9 at Kincraig and regularly hears the sirens of emergency vehicles, gave her reaction following today's statement by Transport secretary Mairi McAllan that completion of the entire A9 dualling programme it is expected by the end of 2035.

It represents a 10-year delay on the original target date.

Ms Hansler said complete transparency must be the way forward.

Although she was 'cautiously optimistic', she also felt the the 2035 date right now seemed highly unlikely.

"I think a lot of faith has been lost in the construction industry between engineers, architects and so on and then also the general public," she said.

She said the Scottish Government was saying that 44 of the remaining 77 miles of the dualling project would be delivered by 2030 – 50 per cent of the project.

"Now, we’ve got a basis against the fact that they only delivered two sections in the last 16 years," she said.

However, she would be "cautiously optimistic" but would make sure of transparency at every turn and when they failed to deliver on the timetable, they must be seen to be truthful as to the shortcomings – no more omissions, no more suppression of the truth.

"Complete transparency must be the way forward," she said.

"However, I do welcome for the construction industry, the hybrid model for the remaining three northern sections, and the Mutual Investment Model (MIM) for remaining five south sections that is progress and that was part of the petition was to have a whole re-evaluation of the procurement procedure but the new day of 2035 to myself right now seems highly unlikely."

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