David Stewart MSP

Archive for February 2010

North MSP criticises Government rejection of funding for A9 improvements

12 February 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart has criticised the Scottish Government for rejecting possible funding for much needed improvements to the A9 in the Far North.

Mr Stewart was contacted by constituents who asked him to explore the idea of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) funding being used to upgrade the trunk road, which is a vital transport link for people living in Caithness and Sutherland.

In a letter to Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson Mr Stewart urged him to look into the concept, stating:

“There are various stretches of road, in particular the Berriedale Braes, which would benefit from upgrading.

“This, in turn, would benefit the local economy in terms of an enhanced transport infrastructure.”

However, the concept has been rejected in a letter sent on behalf of Mr Stevenson by David Middleton of Transport Scotland, the body which looks after Scotland’s trunk roads.

Mr Middleton stated that while the NDA’s function was “giving encouragement and other support to activities that benefit the social or economic life of communities” living near its sites, this related to its own decommissioning activities.

He added: “The NDA is not a body whose purpose is economic support or the provision of major transport projects.”

However Mr Stewart said: “Frankly the A9 north is a national disgrace.

“It’s very important that we provide the best economic circumstances for the diversification of the local economy and that requires good infrastructure for road, rail and air links.

“We can’t leave any stone unturned in trying to access funding whether from the Government or elsewhere.

“What is being proposed is innovative, creative thinking, something that seems beyond Transport Scotland.

“I will be continuing this campaign to have better road, rail and air services in the Far North so we can encourage indigenous employment and inward investment from across the UK and beyond.”

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Written by davidstewart

February 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized