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A9 average speed camera opponents to step up campaign

By Donna MacAllister

The proposed average speed camera sites on the A9
The proposed average speed camera sites on the A9

Leaders of a campaign battling to block the A9 average-speed cameras scheme will meet in Inverness later this week.

MP Danny Alexander’s Highland Infrastructure Forum, which includes representatives of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, the Federation for Small Businesses and the Scottish Tourism Alliance will take place at the Palace Hotel on Friday.

Foyers-based Facebook campaigner Mike Burns, head of the "A9 Average Speed Cameras Are Not The Answer" group, is also expected to attend the event, which starts at 11am.

Mr Burns fears the project will cost the Highlands 20,000 working hours every day and believes that employers will opt to relocate staff further south due to the increased delays.

Mr Alexander, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. believes the average-speed cameras will make matters worse for motorists by dramatically slowing the road and creating an unnecessary obstacle for visiting motorists and Highland businesses.

His spokesman said the forum was set up to give a voice to the unique Highland perspective of the impact of the average-speed cameras.

He said: "We are having that meeting to highlight concerns before the cameras reach Inverness. We will possibly have more down the line. Our petition now has 1700 signatures and we have collected 210 bit of information from campaigners, which will be put into a dossier."

The government has started work on the 100 camera-scheme straddling the A9 between Perth and Inverness and has insisted it will improve road safety.

Transport Scotland released figures last month showing motorist were slowing down as a result of the cameras being installed on the route - despite the fact the devices will not be switched on until October.

One in three drivers were exceeding the speed limit between Perth and Pitlochry, but this dropped to one in 10 following their installation at the end of May.

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