A former Scottish government minister says the £3 billion A9 upgrade must speed up after fresh doubts emerged over funding for the delayed project.
The Press and Journal newspaper reports veteran SNP politician Fergus Ewing raised concerns about progress on the Perth-Inverness route and urged party colleagues to deliver the promise to upgrade the road.
The SNP promised to dual 80 miles of the route before coming to power in 2007, but only two of the 11 sections have been completed to date (pictured).
The report says concerns were raised this week after the Scottish Government said in its capital projects review that it would “not be possible” to immediately fund all its commitments.
Mr Ewing said he believed the government will deliver the dualling scheme, but that it needed to move faster.
“As the local constituency MSP I have campaigned and argued for the dualling of the A9 from Dunblane to Inverness for 22 years,” Mr Ewing said.
“Whilst I am pleased to see the progress made, notably the new section from Luncarty to the Pass of Burnam and that from Dalraddy to Kincraig, there are many sections yet to be done.
“What is not perhaps widely appreciated is that much of the preparatory work regards design and preferred route selection has been done.
“As those involved know, these processes are complex involving engineering solutions in difficult terrain, as well as detailed consultation with communities and individual land owners.
“The key thing is this: The Scottish Government is resolutely committed to completion of the dualling project. That is not in doubt.
“It is the speed at which the commitment can be delivered in practice that must now be accelerated .”
Upgrades to roads have previously been put in doubt by the Green party members of the Scottish Government.
(Picture – Transport Scotland)