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by Kirsteen Paterson
20 December 2023
New target for A9 as dualling to complete by 2035

Mairi McAllan | Alamy

New target for A9 as dualling to complete by 2035

The dualling of the A9 between Inverness and Perth will be complete by 2035, according to a new target announced by the Scottish Government.

The date is a decade later than the previous 2025 target and comes after ministers said that deadline was "unachievable".

The road has been the scene of several fatal accidents in recent years.

Tory shadow transport secretary Murdo Fraser said "too many lives have needlessly been lost" in years of waiting for dualling to progress.

Transport secretary Mairi McAllan said she accepted that "people have been waiting too long".

However, she said the SNP-Green administration is "working hard to give the confidence to the Highlands" that half of the work will be completed by 2030, 85 per cent will be finished by 2033 and the final phase expected to open by 2035.

She said: "This programme has faced challenges and I acknowledge that it has not progressed at the pace we would have liked. However, the A9 is the backbone of Scotland. It must be safe, reliable and resilient as possible and that's what the Scottish Government will deliver."

A total of 11miles of the roadway have been upgraded over the past decade, with around 80 miles still to go.

Costs have risen from £3bn to £3.7bn and the contract award for the Tay Crossing to Ballinluig project is expected in summer 2025.

McAllan said a "concrete plan" is now in place, adding: "Now we have reached this point, there will be no let up. When construction starts on Tomatin to Moy next year, under this delivery programme it should roll continually until the route between Perth and Inverness is fully dualled."

Labour's Rhoda Grant said the news that "one section will be dualled in the next four years is not going to pacify the anger" of her constituents due to "lack of progress".

Fergus Ewing MSP said many people would be "sceptical until they see diggers on the ground". He added: "There must be no more slippage, no more delays, no more broken promises."

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