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Major gas works on A9 expected to run until February caused more than 2 hours travel delays for Highland road users yesterday

By Federica Stefani

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Drivers faced major delays on the A9 yesterday with road works expected to go ahead until February.
Drivers faced major delays on the A9 yesterday with road works expected to go ahead until February.

Works on the A9 at Dunkeld have caused drivers and bus passengers to face delays of more than two hours travelling between the Highlands and the Central Belt yesterday afternoon.

Major gas works – which are set to last until February 26 next year – as well as a broken down vehicle along the road have caused a major traffic congestion in the section of the trunk road last night.

The delays prompted further calls from campaigners to dual the A9.

MSP for the Highlands and Islands Douglas Ross was also among those caught in the traffic.

Traffic Scotland's website states: "Due to roadworks on the A9 at Dunkeld, road users are advised to use caution in the area and allow for longer than normal travelling times."

Public transport users were also forced to extended travel times, with very limited train options after ScotRail suspended trains between the Central Belt and Inverness.

Megabus customer Craig McLean said he was forced to a "gruelling journey" with around 50 other passengers who were forced to a seven-hour journey from Glasgow to reach Inverness

He said: "Megabus left Glasgow at 1.10pm and was due in for 4.50pm. The journey to Perth was fine however the bus then got stuck in roadworks for well over an hour.

"By the time the driver got to Pitlochry he legally had to take a break. He then contacted the company, who told him to terminate at Pitlochry and moved all of us onto the LNER train from Pitlochry to Inverness. However, every passenger has had to buy an extra ticket for this train which apparently will be refunded.

Passengers arrived more than three hours late than scheduled.

Mr McLean added: "Megabus have failed in the sense that they knew about the issues with the roadworks at Dunkeld and didn’t plan ahead and are now leaving customers temporarily out of pocket by having to buy a train, these roadworks are also meant to last until February in Dunkeld so there could be many more of these issues.

"Also although Megabus say we can claim our extra train payment money back the driver didn’t guarantee this."

As Megabus do not offer a delay-repay system, customers will not be refunded from their original payment, despite the journey nearly taking double the length of time.

Megabus have been contacted for comment.

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