A9 lorry drivers to stage rolling roadblock

A number of people have backed speeding up the dualling plan rather than installing average speed cameras. Picture: Brett Jordan
A number of people have backed speeding up the dualling plan rather than installing average speed cameras. Picture: Brett Jordan
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LORRY drivers are considering creating a rolling roadblock on the A9 in protest over the installation of average-speed cameras.

Vehicles would participate in a go-slow protest, it is claimed.

The first of the controversial cameras are already in place on the A9 between Inverness and Perth and motorists have started reporting longer journey times on the route, despite the devices having not yet been turned on.

Lorry drivers claim the cameras are leading to more dangerous manoeuvres on the notoriously accident-prone road.

Truck driver Connor McKenna, from Inverness, said motorists were slamming on their brakes when they first glimpsed the speed cameras, known as “yellow vultures” due to their colour.

He said drivers were ready to back the plan and added: “It is only a matter of time before there is an accident. People don’t understand the cameras.”

The 29-year-old led a successful campaign to increase the speed limit on the road for heavy goods vehicles from 40mph to 50mph.

It involved organising several rolling roadblocks to highlight the problem, including the threat of hitting Christmas deliveries, but that protest was dropped after progress was made.

Mr McKenna and other northern truck drivers are now considering holding another go-slow protest on the road.

He said: “We are looking at a go-slow but I need to speak to more drivers about what is happening.”

However, the latest roadblock plan has come under fire from Highland SNP MSP Dave Thompson.

He warned a go-slow on the road would be “utterly irresponsible” and added: “It will not do anyone any good.”

Mr Thompson said he did not think cameras would cause motorists to drop their speed drastically and cause danger.

He said: “Average-speed cameras will ensure that people stick to the limit.”

The £2.5million scheme to install around 100 cameras between Dunblane and Inverness has proved controversial since it was first announced by the Scottish Government last year.

Ministers claim the cameras will cut the toll of deaths and serious accidents on the road, which has been dubbed the most dangerous in Scotland.

But opponents claim the cameras will increase frustration, lead to even more risky overtaking manoeuvres and cause a higher number of crashes.

Mike Burns, of Foyers, Inverness-shire, organised a petition with thousands of signatures calling for the scheme to be scrapped in favour of speeding up the plan to dual the whole road, which is backed by Highland MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

The first cameras were recently installed north of Perth and Scottish Government transport agency Transport Scotland said they are already causing motorists to cut their speed despite not being on. Following tests, they are due to go live in October.