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Highland MSP demands accountability for delay in Nairn bypass timetable publication

By Rachel Smart

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Fergus Ewing MSP. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Fergus Ewing MSP. Picture: Callum Mackay..

A Highland MSP has slammed the Scottish Government's 'failure' to publish a timetable of delivery for the dualling of the A96 Inverness to Nairn, including the Nairn bypass.

MSP for Inverness and Nairn, Fergus Ewing has expressed his frustration after confirmation from the Scottish Government that the made orders for the Nairn bypass will be published on March 12, 2024. A promise that was deferred for three years.

Mr Ewing expressed his frustration, stating: "These made orders are hailed by the Scottish Government as a major triumph. What they chose not to mention is that they are nearly three years late." He highlighted a letter from former Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson dated February 19, 2021, which assured the public of their release by the summer of that year, yet they remained overdue.

"The past three years have been wasted," continued Mr Ewing.

"I challenged the Transport Minister, Fiona Hyslop, to publish a timetable stating when the bypass will be built, but instead of doing this, she has merely talked of another meeting.

"We promised this in our manifesto. But we're no further forward in getting the bypass. We didn't promise in that manifesto a deal with the hard-left Greens. But their malign influence has cost the Highlands dear."

Calling for action, Mr Ewing urged the First Minister, Humza Yousaf to acknowledge the need for capital investment in the Highlands.

He said: "It's time Humza started to realize that he can no longer snub the Highlands by starving us of capital investment in safer, decent roads that he takes for granted in Glasgow."

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