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Halcro Johnston questions minister over Highland motorhome use

By Tom Ramage

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Highland MSP Halcro Johnston has raised fears over roads issues
Highland MSP Halcro Johnston has raised fears over roads issues

Better action is needed to ensure tourists are aware of the hazards facing them on Highland roads, an MSP believes.

Highlands and Islands MSP and Cross-Party Group convener Jamie Halcro Johnston, was speaking after he questioned the Scottish Government on road safety across the Highlands and Islands in Portfolio Questions on Net Zero and Energy, and Transport.

This week he asked how Holyrood was informing tourists and other visitors of how to use roads across the Highlands and Islands safely.

“The summer months see an increase in visitors using either roads or vehicles they’re unfamiliar with.

“The potential from tourists – and others unfamiliar with the road - using the A9 are well known. But across the Highlands and Islands, we see a proliferation of motor homes, many driven by people with no experience of driving one before, nor of the often difficult, and too often, pothole ridden roads they’re driving on.

“So can I ask the Cabinet Secretary/Minister what concerns she/he has of the potential risks these situations are creating. And how the Scottish Government can support the Police and local councils in addressing them?

After making his points in Edinburgh, Mr Halcro Johnston said: “I am disappointed that the Cabinet Secretary was not able to lay out in more detail how SNP ministers in Edinburgh are addressing what is a growing problem for rural Scotland.

“Local people are already poorly served by our roads network and its worsening state, and additional challenges such as inexperienced drivers in hired motorhomes are just another challenge they are forced to face, particularly over the summer months.

“Local communities across the Highlands deserve better from a Scottish Scottish Government that seems to be ignoring the issue”.

He confirmed he would be writing to Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop for a detailed response.

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