Inverness Courier's Dual The A9 campaign up for national award
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The Inverness Courier's Dual The A9 campaign has been nominated for a national award.
When it was confirmed that the SNP government would not fulfil its promise to dual the A9 from Inverness to Perth by 2025, the team launched a campaign, starting with a viral front page which garnered over a million views. The Courier promised their readers that they would continue to put pressure on the Scottish Government until the A9 was dualled.
The campaign has been nominated for the Journalism Matters Making a Difference Award 2023, with voting now open until 5pm this Wednesday.
The team at the Courier were also the only local media to host a leadership debate with all three SNP candidates, putting the A9 dualling issue front and centre. The Courier also launched a dedicated section on its website, with articles investigating the failed dualling project and how to move forward.
The Courier held the A9 Crisis Summit in July, putting pressure on Transport Scotland bosses and government officials to attend, including transport minister Màiri McAllan. The summit saw bereaved families, concerned locals, business leaders, MSPs and councillors come together to discuss safety improvements and dualling issues.
Sarah Fyfe, head of content and audience at Highland News & Media, publishers of The Inverness Courier, said: “We are pleased to see the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland taking this issue seriously.
“The summit was an opportunity to make sure our voices are heard and demand progress. We had an excellent range of experts, campaigners and government officials taking part.”
The Courier published action points from the summit, presenting them to First Minister Humza Yousaf in person just a few days later.
Mrs Fyfe wrote to the head of major projects at Transport Scotland, Lawrence Shackman. The response was published in full by the Courier, securing an autumn update and a confirmation that a new timeline with a completion date would be announced.
Andy Dixon, content editor for The Inverness Courier, said: "Our campaign is important to us and to our audience. We all live and work in communities where we have to use the A9 and we're delighted to have the support of our readers when it comes to pushing for safety improvements on the route to help reduce the chances of more tragic fatal accidents.
"We're looking forward to the much-anticipated Scottish Government update on the project before the winter and will continue to press for action to Dual The A9."
You can vote for The Inverness Courier's Dual The A9 campaign here, until 5pm this Wednesday, November 1.