The doubling of the A9 will not last before 2050, emphasizes the First Minister

The First Minister said his government was committed to working on the infamous highland road and an update would be made in the autumn

However, the SNP chief has been challenged over a statement on the infrastructure project that was due to be made on Monday and was suddenly cancelled.

Douglas Ross told MSPs during the First Minister’s questioning that he felt this was unprecedented.

CONTINUE READING: Failure to double A9 costs lives

A government-initiated inquiry (GIQ) was filed by SNP backbencher Jim Fairlie on Monday.

These are typically used in Holyrood to allow clergy to make an announcement on a specific subject.

The question was then withdrawn.

Mr Yousaf said it was due to the appointment of a new transport team.

Kevin Stewart resigned as Transport Secretary last week due to ill health.

The unexpected resignation caused an uproar and Màiri McAllan, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and a Just Transition, added extra importance to her mandate.

Former culture minister Fiona Hyslop was also recalled to government as transport minister.

Mr Yousaf told MSPs: “The GIQ has been withdrawn. Douglas Ross, I don’t know if he was in the chamber or not this week or if he was doing one of his other jobs, but if he were here in this chamber he would have seen that we have a new transport team.

“So it’s only right that I asked the transport team to look at the details of the dualisation of the A9.”

The First Minister then referred to the Commons Privileges Committee’s shameful report on Boris Johnson’s behavior in the House of Commons.

“It is incredibly important, particularly for Government as well, that when we give information to this parliamentary chamber that that is the most timely and accurate information that we can provide and that Conservatives right now should understand the value of that information.” to this Parliament.”

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In 2011, the Scottish Government undertook to widen the single-lane road by around 80 miles in eleven sections.

However, only 11 miles have been doubled in two sections in the last 12 years.

Earlier this year, then Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth told Parliament that the goal of doubling the road between Perth and Inverness by 2025 had become “simply unachievable”.

Last year, 13 people died on the A9, 12 of them on single-lane sections.


Mr Ross repeatedly asked Mr Yousaf what the government intended to announce.

“Why did it have to be withdrawn? What did the SNP want to say to this Parliament and Scotland about the A9 that it now looks like the First Minister will not tell us until the autumn? These are serious questions that need to be answered. ”

“People from Perthshire to the Highlands have been vehemently critical of this government’s record,” added Mr Ross.

“They feel forgotten by SNP politicians in Holyrood. They say it’s a dereliction of duty not to have the problem fixed.

“Activists fear the doubling of the A9 will now take until 2050. Will it really be another 30 years before a promise made by the SNP more than a decade and a half ago is fulfilled?”

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“It won’t take until 2050 to double the A9,” Mr Yousaf said.

“One of the other challenges we have with capital infrastructure projects is the cost, the rising cost due to the high cost of inflation, something Conservatives should be well aware of as they were the architects of the sky-high inflation that we’ve seen.” economic mismanagement of public finances.

“And of course it is the Conservative UK Government which has cut our capital budget time and time again over the years which means we have to make extremely difficult decisions.

“But even with these tough decisions, I want to reaffirm the ironclad guarantee we have by doubling down on the A9 and building on the progress we’ve already made.”

The First Minister later said he would investigate the case of a man who was told his cancer treatment was at risk of “delays and disruptions” due to a shortage of oncologists.

Anas Sarwar raised the case of Martin Graham at Thursday’s First Minister’s Question Time.

A letter to Mr Graham said the shortage of oncologists meant he could expect “delays and interruptions” in his treatment until a replacement could be found.

Mr Sarwar asked: “Why after 16 years of SNP government is there no oncologist anywhere in Scotland to treat Mr Graham?”

The First Minister said he would like to look into the details of the case raised by Mr Sarwar.

There is a global shortage of oncologists, he said, and Scotland has been working to increase the number since 2007.

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