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Are Greens set for a u-turn on A9 dualling support?

By Federica Stefani

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Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater
Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater

The leader of the Scottish Green Party said ahead of their party conference that works to dual the A9 between Inverness and Perth "need to proceed".

This comes as a u-turn on previous statements from the party, which supported safety works on the trunk road and were not in favour of dualling works.

Talking to STV, Lorna Slater commented: "That work needs to proceed in order to make that road safe

"I know it's the Scottish Government's commitment to dual that road and that they are working towards that goal.

"That is part of the agreement, that the road will be dualled and will be developed.

"It's obviously a big concern to people that live in those regions to have that road – especially to make sure that the safety aspects are looked after."

According to some local MSPs in the Highlands the Green's opposition would have slowed down the process for dualling the Inverness to Perth route.

Replying to Ms Slater's comments, SNP MSP Fergus Ewing – who was recently disciplined by the party in October after voting against Ms Slater in a no-confidence vote – asked whether this line will be supported across the party.

He said: "Do Patrick Harvie and Arianna Burgess, who represents the Highlands as list MSP now also support the dualling of the A9?

"Will all the Greens now back the campaign and prioritise funding for it?"

Fresh calls for dualling the A9 were made yesterday after a major traffic congestion – which was caused by gas works set to continue until early 2024 – caused drivers to be stuck in traffic for more than two hours.

Replying to a Tweet about the disruption, Edward Mountain MSP said: " It is unacceptable that the Highlands can be cut off like this."

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