Woman driver killed in head-on collision

A WOMAN died in a head-on collision on the A9 yesterday after her silver Peugeot car hit a single decker bus travelling in the opposite direction.

Tayside Police said the driver died at the scene of the crash, which was on a single carriageway stretch of the road at Dowally, north of Dunkeld.

The bus driver broke his wrists in the collision, but the 39 passengers on board, believed to be English tourists, escaped with minor cuts and bruises.

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Highlands MSP Jamie McGrigor said the latest fatal accident on the A9 showed how important it was that the entire length of the route be upgraded.

He said: "This is yet another tragedy on this notoriously dangerous road. Along with other politicians, I have campaigned to dual as much of the A9 as possible.

"One's thoughts are with the relatives of the person who died, but this is another demonstration of the necessity of upgrading the A9. This is one of Scotland's most dangerous roads and it is the main thoroughfare to the Highlands."

The road was closed for more than six hours after the accident at 3pm, which happened while thousands of music fans were heading for the Rockness Festival.

After the crash, the bus driver was airlifted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee for treatment. The bus passengers were taken to a nearby church hall to wait for alternative transport.

Drivers in Edinburgh also faced long delays yesterday morning after a lorry burst into flames on the hard shoulder of the City Bypass, sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Traffic was diverted from the westbound carriageway for one hour as firefighters struggled to bring the blaze in the cab under control. The driver escaped uninjured.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said it was very fortunate the driver managed to pull away from the road.

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He added: "What this demonstrates is they were very lucky the driver was able to pull over on to a hard shoulder - because only around half of the Edinburgh City bypass has hard shoulders.

"If this had happened on a stretch of the road with no hard shoulder it could have taken a lot longer to deal with."