Rebuild the Highlands by improving rural connectivity, says Scottish Conservative candidate for Inverness and Nairn Edward Mountain
Get the Inverness Courier sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
Edward Mountain, the Scottish Conservative candidate for Inverness and Nairn, has said the next Scottish Parliament must focus on upgrading the Highland and Islands’ road, ferry and internet links.
Edward Mountain has called out the SNP’s record of delivering infrastructure for the region.
During the last session of the Scottish Parliament, the SNP commissioned two new ferries which are five years behind schedule and have doubled in cost to around £200 million.
Also, the SNP promised to rollout superfast broadband to the Highlands by the end of 2021, but this scheme has been delayed and is unlikely to be delivered until 2026.
This election the Scottish Conservatives are proposing to invest in vital Highland infrastructure by:
• Delivering full-fibre broadband to all by 2027, guaranteeing superior speeds compared to superfast broadband;
• Upgrading the A82, A96, A9 and A83;
• £200 million national Road Maintenance Fund to repair potholes on local roads;
• Delivering new ferries for Island communities.
Edward Mountain said: “Having spoken with many voters, I know that connectivity is a massive issue in the Highlands and Islands this election.
“Whether its roads, ferries or broadband, the Highlands is crying out for key infrastructure which is delivered on time and on budget – something the SNP have proved incapable of doing for the last five years.
“Only the Scottish Conservatives are serious about road maintenance. That’s why I am pleased we are looking to establish a £200 million fund to help local authorities fix potholes and we’ll also upgrade the region’s main trunk roads too.
“The Highlands also needs a digital connectivity solution which is future-proof and that is why the Scottish Conservatives will deliver full-fibre broadband, which has superior download speeds compared to the SNP’s delayed R100 programme.
“The SNP’s management of our ferry fleet has been a 'catastrophic failure' according to a Holyrood inquiry. We’ll reform how the Scottish Government invests in the ferry fleet to ensure that Islanders get the ships they need.
“Highlanders and Islanders deserve a Scottish Parliament which is 100 per cent focussed on connecting our local communities – making it both votes Scottish Conservative will ensure that it is.”