Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, and John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, have released statements on the A9 dualling project. Their comments come after the Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, addressed the Scottish Parliament with an update on the status of the project earlier today (08 February 2023).
Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“With the A9 spanning over 80 miles, dualling the entire stretch is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the Scottish Government.
“The inflationary impacts of the war in Ukraine, combined with market turmoil caused by the UK Government’s disastrous mini-budget, have made construction projects of this scale significantly more expensive and time-consuming.
“Despite these unforeseen challenges, I welcome the Scottish Transport Minister’s renewed commitment to delivering this project as a matter of priority. Furthermore, the additional safety measures that are currently being installed as part of £5 million additional funding will better protect drivers while the dualling is completed.”
Also commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“The dualling of the A9 is a vital project that will improve road safety and unlock economic potential across the Highlands. It is one of the most expensive infrastructure projects that the Scottish Government has ever undertaken and brings with it significant logistical challenges.
“The project has been made more difficult by a number of external factors including the pandemic, the negative effect of Brexit and the disastrous impact of the UK Government’s mini-budget.
“Whilst news of the delay to the completion of the project will undoubtedly be disappointing, it is worth noting that the Transport Minister re-iterated the Scottish Government’s absolute commitment to the completion of the A9 dualling. We are determined to complete this project, and to do so in a manner that provides good value for money for the taxpayer.
“It is worth remembering that commuters across Perthshire are already benefitting from a completed section of the A9 between Luncarty and the Pass of Birnam. I also welcomed the Minister’s confirmation that an announcement on a preferred route for the Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing section will be made this spring.
“I will continue to liaise closely with the Transport Minister regarding this project and I remain committed to engaging with stakeholders in the local community to ensure that their views continue to be heard.”