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Highland MSP David Stewart ‘stunned’ by answer to question about investment in A82

By Louise Glen

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Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart.
Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart.

MSP David Stewart has expressed disappointment that the Scottish Government does not seem to know which sections of the A82 have benefited from roadworks over the past five years.

Mr Stewart put the question to transport officials after a family-of-four were killed in a crash on the road last month.

Transport Scotland said an average of £11.8 million was spent on improvements each year – but the government is “unable to break down this investment by location”.

The question was lodged after the Cousin family, from Inverness, died in a car accident near Fort William on February 20.

Gemma Cousin (nee Davidson, 26), her husband Rhys (25) and their daughters Peyton (3) and Heidi (1) were killed.

Mr Stewart said: “The A82 has a history of tragic road deaths and serious injuries and lack of investment is causing unimaginable suffering for families like the Cousins and the Davidsons. That’s why I tabled a question to Michael Matheson, the cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, asking what improvements and investment have been given to the A82, and in which locations, since 2016.

“I was stunned to receive this completely inadequate response. It seems bizarre that the government doesn’t know where it carried out infrastructure improvements along the route.”

Mr Stewart will lodge a Freedom of Information request in a bid to get more details.

“Just to clarify, there have been a number of accidents and incidents on the A82 and it is hard to know, unless there have been fatal accident inquiries or court cases, what the actual causes have been,” Mr Stewart added.

“Many could be down to driver error or road conditions or weather conditions, but it is well known locally that the road does need major improvements which, I argue, would in turn make it safer.”

Related articles: Support grows for A82 safety campaign following tragic deaths of Inverness family

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