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Transport Scotland says it will not build a memorial to remember lives lost on the A9

By Rachel Smart

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Transport Scotland has said it has no statutory role to build a memorial.
Transport Scotland has said it has no statutory role to build a memorial.

Transport Scotland has said it is not responsible for building a memorial to remember lives lost on the A9.

The road authority had been asked for a memorial by the A9 Dual Action Group, led by petitioner Laura Hansler. However, it has now come back to say that it would have 'no statutory role' to play in the creation of a memorial.

In a submission made by Transport Scotland to the Scottish Parliament's Dual the A9 inquiry it said: "We recognise that this is a highly emotive subject and that family, friends and loved ones left behind will be affected differently. Whilst some may be in favour of a memorial, each death is an individual person, and the circumstances of individual accidents can vary greatly.

"Family members and others affected by such a loss are likely to have varying views about such a proposal. It is also worth bearing in mind that whilst this petition relates specifically to the A9, regrettably the tragedy of people losing their lives on Scotland’s roads is not restricted to the A9 alone and therefore it may be perceived to single out that route above others causing a negative reaction.

"As a Road Authority, Transport Scotland has certain statutory powers and obligations and its annual budget is used to discharge those responsibilities. These are limited to the trunk road network and do not provide for the purchase or acquisition of land other than in discharging the responsibilities as road authority.

"As such Transport Scotland would have no statutory role to play in the creation of such a memorial away from the trunk road network. Campaigners are free to progress a memorial in a non-roadside location without Transport Scotland input, subject to the necessary consents being in place."

In response to the submission, campaigner Laura Hansler has said Transport Scotland does have enough money in its budget to carry out the memorial, and she will now push for a national memorial to be erected to remember the lives lost in road fatalities in Scotland.

Ms Hansler said: "The entire point of this was to get Transport Scotland and every minister that has failed in their role of transport under one title or another, to accept that these lives were needlessly lost because of their lack of focus and delivery on dualling.

Mrs Hansler on the A9 to promote Dual Group's petition
Mrs Hansler on the A9 to promote Dual Group's petition

"Nothing irks me more than these people sat in their comfortable offices completely detached from the reality of the devastating impact that road has on our lives. I won’t allow these names to be statistics, locked away in a drawer somewhere to make it more palatable for them.

"There is and certainly was enough money in their budgets for this type of project.

"If it has to be a national memorial for all road fatalities in Scotland then so be it. I am in contact with a charity in England called RoadPeace and I know from them that England do have such a memorial, so it is something I will persist with."

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