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Highland Council members respond to Scottish Government commitment on A9 dualling

By Ian Duncan

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Highland Council Headquarters.
Highland Council Headquarters.

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to progressing dualling plans of two Highland arterial roads.

The local authority and its partners recently stressed the importance of progressing the plans for dualling of the A9 by 2025 and A96 by 2030.

Subsequently, Mrs Davidson met with Minister for Transport, MSP Graeme Dey.

She said: “I am pleased to hear that the Scottish Government has committed to progressing their plans for dualling the A9 and the safety issues and concerns regarding the current infrastructure seem to be well understood.

“Local members and I would also welcome the intention to continue with Inverness to Nairn dualling and bypass plans for western parts of the A96, however, we would wish to highlight the importance of dualling this entire route to enhance connectivity and safety between Highland and North East.”

Highland Council convener Bill Lobban commented: “The Highlands’ economic recovery, prosperity and green future is heavily dependent on connectivity. The region has been hit hard by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit and we can’t afford any further delays to the dualling of the A9 and A96.

"The dualling of both these lifeline routes is also crucial in terms of public safety.”

Councillor Trish Robertson, chairwoman of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee, said: “The A9 and A96 projects are vital to the Highland economy and both importantly dovetail with Transport Scotland’s investment in the Inshes Corridor improvements.

"As a region we rely on road transport for goods and services, and the movement of very large loads, such as renewable energy plant and timber need safe and appropriate transport routes in and out of the Highlands along these long distances.”

Allan Henderson, the chairman of Hi-Trans, said: “We must now ensure these roads are delivered here in Highland and we do not need other barriers being placed in the way. I look forward to discussing this matter at a meeting with Mr Dey in September.”

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