Pete Wishart calls on Scottish Government to publish A9 dualling timetable
SNP MP Pete Wishart has urged the Scottish Government to urgently publish a timetable for dualling the A9 as the party membership voted overwhelmingly for improvements to the road.
The Perthshire MP said the government will “get down to the business of fixing it”, highlighting the party had committed to doing so several years ago.
He said: “It is time to meet it [the commitment] and fix it. It’s time to get a timetable for all the sections to be upgraded and we have to see that in the autumn.”
Humza Yousaf reconfirmed in his programme for government in September that his party would dual the A9 from Inverness to Perth, but he did not give a timetable for that work to take place.
He also said his government was “committed to improving the A96”, including dualling the section from Inverness to Nairn.
The resolution was debated at conference on Tuesday following concerns about the delivery of the project.
Wishart said he was “sick and tired” of the Scottish Conservatives “constantly bringing this up in parliament”.
The Tories have repeatedly called on the government to bring forward a detailed timetable for the programme.
Scottish Government minister and Highlands MSP Emma Roddick said there was “real pain” being caused because of a “perception” the government was breaking a promise. She said: “The promise remains and action will continue.”
And she accused the opposition of “creating division where none exists”, referring to concerns that the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens – who are opposed to new road-building on climate grounds – was hampering delivery of the dualling.
The conference vote overwhelming in favour of the resolution which backed the “full dualling of the A9 and A96”.
The vote was not unanimous, with one speaker arguing connectivity should be improved by other, greener methods, for example improving railway connections.