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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 11:14 GMT
Calls to prioritise A9 dualling
A9 from the air. Picture courtesy of HIE
Large stretches of the section are not dual carriageway
Upgrading one of Scotland's most dangerous routes should be the Scottish Government's "number one road priority", according to a Tory MSP.

Murdo Fraser has called for ministers to set a timetable for dualling the A9 between Inverness and Perth.

The transport minister has already said the government is committed to a plan to upgrade the route.

It followed a report which concluded that the work would boost the Highland economy by almost 1bn.

Mr Fraser, the MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, branded the current carriageway "completely inadequate to handle the volume of traffic that flows on the road".

He said that there was now "a mountain of evidence" to support make the A9 a dual carriageway from Perth to Inverness.

Firm commitment

He said: "This report makes it clear that this road is damaging the economic potential to the Highlands and it is clear that Perthshire is also being held back by the A9 as well.

"We must get a firm commitment from the SNP Government that it will dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness and give a clear timetable for A9 dualling.

"With so much evidence that points towards A9 dualling, it is clear that dualling the A9 should be the number one road priority in Scotland."

The government is to ask Transport Scotland to identify which part of the route could be dualled in the short-term, ahead of next year's Strategic Transport Policy Review.

Transport minister Stewart Stevenson said: "This Scottish Government is totally committed to the plan for dualling the A9.

"We made that commitment when we came into government and we stand by that commitment."

The A9 has previously been branded one of the most the deadly roads in Scotland.

More than 80 fatal collisions have occurred there since 2002.

SEE ALSO
'Economic boost' from A9 upgrade
30 Oct 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Serious crash shuts southbound A9
26 Oct 07 |  Highlands and Islands
One killed, three injured on A9
12 Oct 07 |  Tayside and Central
Calls to remove lorries from A9
03 Aug 07 |  Tayside and Central
Extensive upgrade on danger road
23 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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