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Campaigner for improved safety on A82 to appear on BBC documentary series Panorama; Road regarded as the most dangerous in UK

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Sammy Cousin wants action on the A82.
Sammy Cousin wants action on the A82.

A road safety campaigner is to speak out nationally about how she feels “no one is listening” when it comes to improving safety on the A82.

Samantha Cousin, whose son Rhys, daughter-in-law Gemma and grandchildren Heidi and Peyton died on the road in February 2020, has said she will not stop making it uncomfortable for those in authority until the road is made safer.

She is now due to appear on BBC documentary series Panorama.

Miss Cousin, from Inverness but now living in Orkney, said: “We have tried time and again to raise our concerns about the A82, and sometimes it feels like we are screaming into the void.

“Time and again opportunities have been missed to improve road safety on the A82, and it feels like no one is listening.

“So when Panorama approached me and Inverness Courier reporter Louise Glen, we jumped at the chance.”

Rhys and Gemma Cousin.
Rhys and Gemma Cousin.

The Inverness Courier mounted a campaign calling for improvements and launched a petition that attracted thousands of signatures.

To date, however, little significant change has occurred.

“The road is considered nationally as the most dangerous in the UK,” Miss Cousin said.

“And they are not wrong – every death on the road is a person too many, every person injured or involved in an accident can be prevented.

“I just don’t know why people are not more angry.

“The A82 is now being named nationally as the most dangerous road in the UK, and our family has four of those who died on the road in one of the most heartbreaking incidents.

“Yet the government did not listen when we raised it with them, and, while I thank every single person for signing our petition, I cannot imagine why more people did not get behind it.

“Ask anyone and they will tell you the road is dangerous – but everyone thinks it is someone else’s job to sort it out. I really want change to come, and I want to see more people shouting about it.”

Rhys Cousin with his daughters Peyton and Heidi.
Rhys Cousin with his daughters Peyton and Heidi.

Reporter Louise Glen said: “People cannot fail to be touched by the sheer numbers of fatalities and injuries on the A82.

“Every single person is a sister, brother, father, mother, someone’s child.

“As a reporter, it is hard to write these stories, so as a gran and mum who lost her relatives, Samantha is inspirational in her drive and determination for meaningful change on the road.”

Highland councillor David Fraser, who represents the Aird and Loch Ness ward through which the A82 runs, said: “There remain a number of serious hot spots for accidents on the road. And change needs to come sooner rather than later.”

He has suggested the introduction of a new 50mph limit for the entirety of the route, reducing to 20mph as the road passes through towns.

Blow to campaign

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