Business leaders warn A9’s reputation is damaging Highland economy

There’s a warning that visitors and business people are being deterred from going to the Scottish Highlands because of the “bad reputation” of the A9.

The Scotsman Newspaper quotes the Inverness Chamber of Commerce telling members of the Scottish Parliament that companies and staff could be reluctant to move to the region “because of the perception of how hard it is to get to anywhere else”, while tourists “find other places where their journey doesn’t include a ‘dangerous road’.”

The road has been plagued by crashes and plans to make it a dual carriageway have been delayed.

The newspaper says the business group insisted the Scottish Government’s original target of completing dualling of the road between Perth and Inverness by 2025 had been achievable, but it had not been met because of a lack of commitment by either ministers or their officials.

It quotes he chamber’s submission to an inquiry into the dualling programme as saying: “The road has such a bad reputation that people are put off from coming here and from doing business with us. Businesses can be reluctant to locate here, and staff are reluctant to work here, because of the perception of how hard it is to get to anywhere else.

“It is our view that the primary reason for failing to meet this [2025] deadline was a lack of commitment. We can’t know whether that lack of commitment was from government ministers or from officials at Transport Scotland, but there is sufficient expert evidence to support the notion that the original timetable was achievable.”

(Picture – Google Streetview)

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