Anger as SNP Government says reviewing full dualling of A96 is ‘right thing to do’

MSP Liam Kerr

THE SNP Government has said reviewing the full dualling of the A96 is the “right thing to do”, sparking anger from a North East MSP.

At FMQs, Liam Kerr quizzed Shona Robison on when the A96 Corridor Review would be published after it was delayed for a third time.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Why? Free to subscribe, no paywall, daily business news digest.

It comes as Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland previously announced that the outcome of the A96 Corridor Review would be published for final public consultation in autumn, which was already nearly a year later than promised.

The Scottish Conservative North East MSP also asked the Deputy First Minister if the road would be dualled in full and if the 2030 promise of doing the work would be met.

In response, Ms Robison, who was standing in for Humza Yousaf, tried to justify the review, saying it was “the right thing to do given the level of interest”.

Plans to fully dual the A96 were announced in December 2011, when the Scottish Government published its Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) containing the commitment to upgrade the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness by 2030.

But as part of the power-sharing deal between the SNP and the Greens, a review of the project costing almost £4 million was undertaken after the Greens raised “urgent” environmental impact concerns about fully dualling the road.

In his question to Ms Robison, Mr Kerr asked: “This review, ordered simply to appease the Green Party, was supposed to be published a year ago.

“The fact is in 2011, the SNP promised the people of the North East that the A96 would be dualled in full by 2030.

“Over a decade of prevarication, millions of taxpayer pounds, and endless excuses later – nothing – not even a mention of Aberdeen to Huntly in the programme for government.

“Deputy First Minister, the people of the North East want a straight answer: will the SNP fulfil the promise to fully dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen by 2030 – yes or no?”

Responding, Ms Robison said: “I’m expecting Transport Scotland’s advice on the emerging outcomes before the end of the year.”

She added: “Given the level of interest, I would suggest it (the review) was the right thing to do.”

Mr Kerr later said: “It’s scandalous that Shona Robison believes reviewing the SNP’s promise of fully dualling the A96 is the ‘right thing to do’.

“Her shameful attempt at covering up her party’s failings is insulting to the families whose loved ones have tragically died or been injured on the road.

“North-East communities are rightly furious at this woeful SNP Government, who care more about pleasing their Green coalition partners and their anti-motorist agenda than the safety of the public.

“Dualling the road will give people a safer and improved journey between Aberdeen and Inverness, drive the economy forward and ensure our emergency services can get where they need without delays.

“Instead of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the North East with delaying tactics like this review, the SNP Government should concentrate more on getting spades into the ground to deliver on these life-saving upgrades which they pledged in 2011.”

The latest stories