Murdo Fraser MSP has expressed concerns over plans to combat lengthy traffic delays on the A9 north of Dunkeld which have been caused by roadworks.
The Scottish Conservative politician had been contacted by several irate constituents about the roadworks, which were set up to allow SGN Gas to install a gas pipe between Birnam and Logierait. Some motorists had told Mr Fraser they had experienced delays of up to two-and-a-half hours to travel to their destination.
Following an outcry from politicians, including Mr Fraser, who raised the matter at the Scottish Parliament with the SNP Government, and concerns from motorists and the popular visitor attraction the Enchanted Forest, SGN announced that they would be suspending the roadworks for the weekend of November 4 and 5, with work resuming on November 6.
While welcoming this move by SNG, Mr Fraser said there is “high degree of scepticism” as to whether the planned measures made by SGN to mitigate the traffic delays will be enough.
Commenting, he said: “These delays are devastating for those travelling the A9 to and from the Highlands, for those making local journeys in Perthshire to go to work or take children to school, and for the tourist economy including events such as the Enchanted Forest.
“Such was the concern from local constituents, I raised the issue at the Scottish Parliament with Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Transport. It will not have escaped the notice of many of those stuck in the traffic delays that, had the SNP Government kept their promise to dual the A9. The previous Transport Minister promised us a statement by the year end with an update on the dualling project. Yet, it’s the end of October with no sign of it, and the Transport Minister can still not supply a date.
“SGN Gas are trying to mitigate the lengthy traffic queues on the A9 but the fact of the matter is that had the SNP Government dualled the A9 by 2025, as they first promised, then we would not have seen these traffic delays.
“I’m glad that the Transport Minister has become personally involved, and that she had received assurances, but that means that it will be her responsibility, and that of Transport Scotland, to ensure that we will not see a repeat of the situation that we saw at the end of October.”