Enchanted Forest chief, John Swinney call for A9 gas pipeline works to be suspended amid major delays to reach Perthshire attraction

There have been reports of delays of up to three hours to reach the Enchanted Forest as calls mount for A9 gas pipeline works to be suspended

​The head of the Enchanted Forest tourist attraction in Perthshire has called for gas pipeline works alongside the A9 to be suspended due to the massive effect of traffic delays on visitors and staff.

And angry motorists have hit out at the disruption as SGN carries out work near the river Tay with a single carriageway section of the road reduced to one lane with a contraflow system.The work started last week and, with delays of two to three hours at some times, local MSP John Swinney described the situation as “absolute chaos” and also called for work to be stopped.In an open letter to SGN chief Mark Wild, inset, on the Enchanted Forest website yesterday, executive director Nela Popovic wrote that the attraction and local businesses had been “severely” impacted by the works.She went on: “I am writing to ask that you immediately suspend the roadworks on the A9 main trunk road in light of the significant disruption they are causing, and review your planning approach for future works.

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"This region has been severely impacted by recent weather conditions, closing or impeding a number of alternative routes and the roadworks are simply exacerbating this, making a bad situation worse.”“I am terribly disappointed and frustrated at the lack of planning, consultation and the severe delays our customers, team and staff are facing which are not only impacting our event but also many businesses in our community," added Ms Popovic, who claimed the Enchanted Forest brings more than 80,000 visitors to Pitlochry during its annual five-week period.One motorist on the A9 Traffic Info Facebook page posted: “Total shambles been on the road for nearly 4 hours to get through to Blair Atholl from Perth understand road is busy but not enough info.”

Another wrote last night: “Traffic Scotland posted at 19.10 this evening saying delay northbound was 55 mins. I was in the queue at 19.10 and it took me 2hours 40 mins. At one point, well into the delay, there was an information sign on the verge saying another 90 mins delay ahead.”

In a statement, SGN claimed it had timed the work to avoid the busier summer months.A spokesperson told the Courier newspaper: “Our Birnam to Logierait project is essential to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to the area. Due to some erosion on the river bank we need to move and upgrade this section of our network.”

The spokesperson, who claimed delays had been “minimal” later in the week, added: “We’d like to apologise for the disruption caused to motorists and residents which occurred initially when phase two of our project began.”



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