A9 drivers 'betrayed' by government over dualling delay as new figures reveal scale of fatalities

The road was originally due to be dualled by next year

A total of 15 people have died and almost 200 have been injured on Scotland’s deadliest road over the past four years – more than double the number for sections which have been dualled.

The figures from Transport Scotland come a year after the Scottish Government admitted a project to upgrade the 83-mile road, which runs between Perth and Inverness, to a dual carriageway would be delayed by ten years.

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Obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives, the figures showed that from 2020 to 2023 inclusive, there were 199 injuries and 15 deaths on single-carriage sections of the road, compared to 114 and seven respectively for dualled sections.

The A9 between Inverness and Perth has been dubbed the most dangerous road in Scotland.The A9 between Inverness and Perth has been dubbed the most dangerous road in Scotland.
The A9 between Inverness and Perth has been dubbed the most dangerous road in Scotland.

Work on the A9 route has been split into 11 sections, two of which have already been completed. The Scottish Conservatives claimed the delay was symptomatic of the SNP’s “contempt” for rural Scotland.

Stephen Kerr, Scottish Conservative candidate for Angus and Perthshire Glens, said: “These terrifying figures lay bare the human cost of the SNP’s A9 betrayal.

“Lives continue to be needlessly lost on Scotland’s most dangerous road, as a result of the SNP’s appalling broken promises. It’s unacceptable that the main trunk road linking Perth and Inverness is still more than a decade from being fully dualled.”

Last month, former first minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised for the Scottish Government’s failure to dual the road.

Asked by nationalist MSP Fergus Ewing whether she would apologise to people in the Highlands, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am sorry we haven’t dualled the road by 2025. I regret that, and I think people in the Highlands have every right to feel the way they do ... the loss of life is a matter of deep regret for everyone.”

Transport Scotland said it expected nearly half of the A9 between Perth and Inverness would be operating as dual carriageway by the end of 2030, rising to 85 per cent by the end of 2033 and 100 per cent by the end of 2035.

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A spokesman said: “Road safety remains an absolute priority for the Scottish Government. We have put a record £36 million towards road safety in this year’s Scottish Budget and will outline how that money will support our efforts throughout the financial year. One death on our roads is one too many.”

The spokesman added: “We have already set out detailed plans for the A9, underlining the Scottish Government’s unwavering commitment to dualling the route. The Scottish Government is utterly focused on achieving the targets set in the delivery plan and it is our intention for construction to roll continually until dualling between Perth and Inverness is complete.”

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