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New research suggests it will take 111 years to dual the A9 at the current rate of investment

By Scott Maclennan

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Works at Drumochter but the progress on this part of the A9 dualling is almost non-existen.
Works at Drumochter but the progress on this part of the A9 dualling is almost non-existen.

Research by the Scottish Conservatives suggests that it would take 111 years to fully dual the A9 between Inverness and Perth if the average annual expenditure rate since 2012 – £37.9 million – continued.

The party lashed out at what it called the SNP’s “appalling betrayal” of rural communities over the “death-trap trunk road” due to the “pitiful, snail-paced progress” of a project that was originally promised to be completed by 2025.

The new analysis, based on Transport Scotland’s 2008 estimate for the total project (£3 billion) adjusted for inflation, shows it would take more than a century to upgrade the A9 if the current level of investment continued.

It comes just days after ministers again angered campaigners by confirming in The Inverness Courier that a parliamentary statement on the renewed timescale for dualling the A9 could still be weeks away, despite being promised in the autumn.

Shadow transport minister Graham Simpson said the SNP-Greens continue to treat communities reliant on the A9 with contempt – and confirmed that the Scottish Conservatives would make dualling it the first pledge of their General Election manifesto.

Mr Simpson said: “These figures demonstrate the appalling betrayal by the SNP of those who rely on the A9.

“Every day that these essential upgrades are delayed, more lives are put at risk on this deadly road. The Nationalists originally pledged to have the A9 fully dualled by 2025, yet at the current rate of progress it would be well over a century late.

“That’s beyond embarrassing – it’s shameful. SNP ministers were already making pitiful, snail-paced progress on this, but the addition of the anti-car Greens to government has made things worse.

“Despite the mounting death toll and the understandable fury of campaigners, they continue to drag their heels by delaying a promised statement to parliament.

“The rural communities who depend on the A9 want to see the talking stop and work to finally start on the huge stretches that remain single carriageways.

“Unlike the Nationalists, the Scottish Conservatives will always stand up for rural and remote Scotland, which is why dualling the A9 will be the first pledge in our General Election manifesto.”

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