David Stewart MSP

Initial reaction from David Stewart, Highlands and Islands Labour regional MSP on the statement by Stewart Stevenson on the Strategic Transport Projects Review:

10 December 2008

“Concerns were expressed in Parliament today as to whether the announcements made by the SNP Government formed a programme or merely a wishlist.

“The statement certainly fails to deliver any costed and timed projects but there are improvements, if they ever go ahead, which I would welcome, although even they are modest compared to what has been promised.

“The promise to dual the A9 in the Highlands has been pushed to some time in the future, and the commitment to tackle the Perthshire section to Blair Atholl by 2015 does not address the accident statistics, as the priority should be the most dangerous part of the road in the Highlands at Badenoch and Strathspey.

“The A82 is to be given general upgrades.

“I would welcome widening measures for Corran and Fort William, however, there has been no timescale given for these improvements.

“There is little comfort for those North of Inverness, who are keen to see the infrastructure improve for their economic survival.

“Likewise the brakes have been put on commitments to dual the A96 to Aberdeen, with only a small section being dualled.

“No timescale has been given for the Nairn bypass.

“While I welcome the proposals to improve access to the airport on the east of the A9, other than a new junction, there seems to be no mention of the Inverness trunk route.

“This will be a disappointment for the people of Inverness who had been presented with grand plans to alleviate congestion in the city by the previous Highland Council SNP administration with a money is no object aqueduct link from the A82 to the A9.

“The announcement is designed to leave the responsibility for the crossing to the council and it is likely to be 2020 before we see any further progress.

“Despite being two years in the planning this ‘blueprint for a national strategy’ fails to bring any certainty to people in the Highlands that the improvements promised by the SNP will ever be anything more than a pipedream.”

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Written by davidstewart

December 10, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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