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Time is up for transport secretary on A9, says Highland MSP


By Tom Ramage

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"Highlanders were promised movement on the A9 by the autumn, and the Scottish Government hasn’t delivered. All I can say is 'Your time is up, bye-bye Mairi'.”

That was the message this morning from Highland Conservative MSP Edward Mountain.

As the Autumn deadline passed, Mr Mountain called out the SNP Government for failing to uphold their promise of delivering the next steps on the dualling programme for the A9, from Perth to Inverness.

Edward Mountain on A9 dualling.
Edward Mountain on A9 dualling.

In June, the cabinet secretary for transport Mairi McAllan guaranteed that the next steps would be confirmed by the end of autumn: “I will set out, with a backstop of autumn this year, the next steps on the dualling programme.”

Separately, Lawrence Shackman, director of major projects at Transport Scotland, promised that the Scottish Government update on the scheme, to be released in autumn, would include a new timescale for completion of the project.

He wrote: “I can confirm this work is firmly on track to enable an update to be given to Parliament in the autumn, as promised earlier this year.

"This update will include a new timescale for completion.”

With the autumn season coming to a close yesterday, Mr Mountain today condemned the Government for failing to uphold its promise, highlighting the detrimental impact the incompletion of the project has upon Highland communities.

Transport secretary Mairi McAllan promised action in autumn
Transport secretary Mairi McAllan promised action in autumn

The SNP Government admitted earlier this year that the A9 dualling had not been completed since it was “simply no longer achievable because of economic pressures”.

Mr Mountain suggested that the SNP government have continued to prioritise the central belt to the detriment of other parts of Scotland: “Typical of this government to miss their own deadlines."


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