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by Louise Wilson
15 June 2023
FMQs: Douglas Ross challenges Humza Yousaf over A9 dualling

FMQs: Douglas Ross challenges Humza Yousaf over A9 dualling

Douglas Ross has demanded answers on the timescale for dualling the A9 between Inverness and Perth.

Humza Yousaf insisted the programme remained a "priority" for his government, calling the commitment a "cast-iron guarantee".

And he said work to update the improvement programme was underway, with a fresh timeline to be published this autumn.

The Scottish Tory leader used his time at First Minister's Questions to highlight the SNP committed to dualling the main road in its 2007 manifesto.

"In a decade, the SNP have upgraded an 11-mile stretch," he said. Citing safety concerns, he asked: "How many more people have to die before this road is fully dualled?"

The first minister insisted safety improvements to Scotland's roads happened on an "ongoing basis".

He said an announcement on the A9 would be made in due course, blaming a change in the ministerial team for the decision to withdraw a government-inspired question in the Scottish Parliament on the project.

Yousaf went on to accuse Ross of trying to "deflect" from the Conservative's woes, following the publication of the privileges committee's report on Boris Johnson. He said: “Douglas Ross can try to deflect, he can try to dodge. But of course nobody in this country will forget that Douglas Ross backed Boris Johnson to the very hilt.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar raised the issue of cancer treatment waiting times, following the launch of the Scottish Government's 10-year cancer strategy on Thursday morning.

He asked: “The 62-day treatment standard has not been met in over a decade and today’s 10-year strategy has given no indication of when it will be met… Can I ask the first minister when the government expects to meet the 62-day cancer treatment standard?”

The first minister highlighted pressures on the NHS, including more people being diagnosed with cancer and the impact of the decision to pause cancer screenings during the pandemic.

He pointed to a "global shortage" of oncologists which he said his government was "taking action" on.

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