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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

SNP’s Unacceptable Cabinet Silence on A9 Dualling Failure

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An admission that the cabinet has never discussed the SNP Government’s failure to meet its target to dual the A9 by 2025 has today been branded “astonishing and unacceptable”.

Shadow transport minister Graham Simpson slammed the “shocking indifference” to the plight of road users after a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives prompted the shock revelation.

Despite Transport Scotland first informing ministers in early December that the timetable was unachievable, and then transport minister Jenny Gilruth informing parliament of this in February, the cabinet have yet to discuss the matter.

The SNP first pledged to dual the A9 – which has a terrifying death toll from accidents – in 2011, and campaigners have voiced their fury at the painfully slow progress since.

Scottish Conservative shadow transport minister Graham Simpson MSP said: 

“It’s astonishing and unacceptable that the SNP’s failure to deliver on this essential, life-saving infrastructure project has never even been discussed at cabinet.

“It highlights the shocking indifference of ministers towards campaigners and those who have already lost their lives on this death-trap trunk road.

“It’s more than four months since the then-transport secretary was informed by Transport Scotland that the timetable could not be achieved and two months since Jenny Gilruth admitted as much in parliament.

“So it beggars belief that this has not been a major – or even a minor – topic for debate in cabinet.

“Ministers ought to be straining every sinew to address their appallingly slow progress in dualling the A9.

“It’s literally a matter of life and death.

“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the influence of the car-hating Scottish Greens on the Nationalist coalition means this project – and a similarly vital one to upgrade the A96 – is simply not a priority for the SNP. 

“If that’s the case, it’s shameful and unforgiveable.”

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