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Friday, April 12, 2024

A9 Road Safety – We Want Your Views

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The Scottish Government’s commitment to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness is the subject of a new consultation launched today by the Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee.

The consultation follows a petition submitted by road safety campaigner Laura Hansler which calls on the Scottish Government to deliver on its 2011 commitment to fully dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness and address ongoing safety concerns on the road.

The Committee has already heard from the petitioner that the failure to deliver the dual carriageway is ”a wholly unacceptable state of affairs” and from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Scotland) who said they have known “for many years” that 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 who rely on the A9 about the impact of the continued delays to the dualling of the road.

The Committee also wants to hear their views about the best approach to carrying out the dualling work, about interim road safety measures, and about the petitioner’s call for a national memorial to those who have lost their lives.

The consultation will be launched at Kincraig Community Hall, following a meeting between Committee Convener Jackson Carlaw MSP, the Petitioner, members of the A9 Dual Action Group and local community and business representatives.

Commenting ahead of the launch of the consultation 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 are 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 going forward. 

“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.

“Your input matters, and we want to hear from road users, communities along the route and businesses alike.

“This is an opportunity to make your voices heard and to consider how to create a safer and more efficient A9 that protects all those who travel along it.”

Commenting, Petitioner Laura Hansler said:

“From the outset the Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee have recognised the gravity and importance of the petition, which has significant support locally, but also from people right across Scotland.

“It’s extremely encouraging that the Convener has chosen to launch the Committee’s call for views in Kincraig, to meet with local people and businesses, at the heart of the communities that are affected daily by the A9.

“Direct community engagement is essential for us moving forward and this consultation will give everyone with an interest in the A9 the opportunity to share their views and play their role in holding the Scottish Government to account on their commitment to dual the road between Perth and Inverness.”

The A9 is an essential transport artery in Scotland.

Its numerous single carriageway sections between Inverness and Perth have been the subject of concern for many years.

These sections have been often blamed for contributing to regular fatalities, safety issues and traffic congestion.

The petition calls on the Scottish Government to publish a revised timetable for dualling the remaining single carriageway sections.

It also calls for establishment of a national memorial to commemorate those who have lost their lives on the road.

The public consultation is being held on the Scottish Parliament’s Your Priorities engagement site, which asks questions around four themes; the strategy for dualling the A9, the impact on local businesses and the economy, road safety and the establishment of a memorial.

The consultation will open from Wednesday 9th August and run until 15thSeptember. 

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.

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