Stone backs dualling of A9 between Perth and Inverness but wants investment in the road north of the Highland capital
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Far north MP Jamie Stone has called on the Scottish Government to honour its commitment to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness and to consider investment in the road north of the Highland capital.
The Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP joined 18 other politicians in signing a pledge to get the work undertaken and criticised the delays in getting the project completed. He wants the A9 to be dualled as promised by the Scottish Government.
The Liberal Democrat MP said: "The SNP government's history of broken promises since 2007 about dualling the A9 are not just breathtaking, but also something verging on a sad and dangerous joke. I am glad to see that most politicians who rely on the A9 are on the same page about this, regardless of political colour.
"The Scottish Government would also do well to remember that the A9 extends north of Inverness and that this stretch of the road should equally be considered for investment. For instance, the section of the A9 between Tore and the Cromarty Bridge should be dualled."
Mr Stone added: "Further north, the Newmore junction remains far too hazardous. In Sutherland and Caithness, major straightening work should be undertaken at Cambusavie and at the road north of Berriedale.
"Road users should not be disadvantaged simply because they live north of Inverness."
He pointed out that two Green MSPs did not sign the pledge due to their party's opposition to a full upgrade while two SNP government ministers, Maree Todd and Emma Roddick, refused to sign due to limitations imposed by their ministerial code.
Mr Stone spoke out as it was announced the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness is to be the subject of a new consultation.
The Scottish Parliament's Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee has already heard from road safety campaigner Laura Hansler and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Scotland) which said it has known for many years the 2025 target for dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness would not be met.
Now the committee wants to hear from road users, communities along the route and businesses which rely on the A9 about the impact of the continued delays to the dualling of the road, their views on the best approach to carrying out the work and interim road safety measures.
Committee convener Jackson Carlaw MSP said:"The dualling of the A9 is a matter of significant public interest and safety concern, not only to the people of the Highlands but also to others all over Scotland.
"The committee is encouraging everyone to take part in the consultation and share their views, to help us understand local priorities, the impact that continued delays are having on businesses and the economy and what the strategy for dualling should be."
He added: "The continued loss of life on the A9 is a tragically regular reminder of the need to improve the safety of the route and the consultation offers a vital opportunity for everyone to contribute their thoughts on how best to do this."
The consultation has just started and runs until September 15.
Following the consultation, the committee will invite Màiri McAllan MSP, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, to provide evidence and respond to the findings.