Humza Yousaf was warned by the Scottish Conservatives that he is “betraying” drivers across the north of Scotland by failing to keep his promise to dual the A9.
At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross said the SNP leader had backtracked on promises to improve dangerous stretches of the A9 road that runs from Falkirk through Perthshire and Inverness.
During his SNP leadership bid, Humza Yousaf said that not dualling the A9 from Tomatin to Moy would be a failure.
The First Minister added:
“There’s no ifs or buts or maybes about it.”
However, local campaigner Laura Hansler has recently said:
“Humza Yousaf made a lot of promises – so where are these promises?”
Douglas Ross also raised a recent report by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, which said:
“The civil engineering sector in Scotland has known for many years that the promise to dual the A9 by 2025 would not be met.”
The group said that the SNP-run Transport Scotland is regarded by civil engineers as the worst client to work for in the UK.
The Scottish Conservative leader also demanded to know why a Government Initiated Question from SNP MSP Jim Fairlie, on the new procurement process for the Tomatin to Moy section, was withdrawn earlier this week.
Humza Yousaf claimed this was due to him appointing a new transport minister and that an announcement will be delayed to the autumn.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:
“The A9 is one of the most dangerous roads in the country.
“Deaths on the road reached a 20-year high last year.
“Yet, despite the SNP promising to dual the A9 in their 2007 manifesto, only 11 miles of the route have been upgraded.
“The SNP have broken their promises to dual the A9 for 16 years.
“There is still no end in sight, with devastating consequences for many families.
“Humza Yousaf made bold claims during his SNP leadership bid that he would make dualling the A9 a top priority.
“But it’s clear he is betraying people from Perthshire to the Highlands by failing to keep his promise.
“The pulling of a Government Initiated Question on the Tomatin to Moy section earlier this week just added to the frustration and suspicion.
“Humza Yousaf’s claim that this was due to a new transport team being appointed doesn’t stack up and it means that any clarity for Highland and Perthshire communities will be delayed to the Autumn.
“Local people feel they are being forgotten by SNP politicians at Holyrood.
“They say failing to fix the A9 is a dereliction of duty.
“Humza Yousaf did very little today to deal with the concerns of campaigners, who say they fear dualling the A9 will take until 2050.
“How many more people need to die before the SNP Government reduces the risk to drivers and fixes this dangerous road?”