Highland MSP hits out at Greens for seeking end to A9 and A96 dualling
Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has urged SNP ministers not to give in to pressure from the Scottish Greens to scrap the dualling of the A9 and the A96.
The co-leader of the Greens, Patrick Harvie, is pushing for free bus fares for young people and believes the scheme could be funded by cancelling major road developments.
Two of those that could be in line for cancellation should the Glasgow MSP have his way are the dualling schemes on the A9 and the A96.
When they were announced, business leaders underlined the economic importance of the projects to the Highlands.
With the SNP needing the support of at least one other party to pass its budget into law, Mr Halcro Johnston warned the Scottish Government not to give in to the Greens' demands.
“The A9 and the A96 dualling projects are vital for the Highlands and Islands," Mr Halcro Johnston said.
“They are the arteries of our region and these projects will help boost our local economies, improve safety for road users and increase connectivity for communities across the region.
“They are vital parts of our future transport infrastructure and local people, businesses and those who visit our region will expect the SNP to deliver on their promises to dual the routes.
“With the Scottish Government already proposing to slash the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, while also leaving councils across the region struggling to maintain vital services, we cannot afford any more bad news or U-turns from the SNP.
“SNP ministers must not allow themselves to be held to ransom by a party with just six MSPs, only one of whom actually represents the Highlands and Islands.
"The SNP must stand firm against these demands and push on with getting these routes dualled.”