Representatives from Highland Perthshire are asking the Scottish Government when work to dual the Birnam to Jubilee Bridge section of the A9 will go underway.
Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, put the question to the government in writing, to which it responded that it is waiting for a ‘Preferred Route option’ to be established before going ahead.
The government also said that they are planning to improve the safety of the junction leading onto the A9 by upgrading the road surface and illuminating the signage later this year.
Mr Fraser said: “While my constituents will welcome news of road resurfacing at the A9/A822/A923 junction and the installation of illuminated bollards in this area, I’m sure local residents will share my concerns that the SNP Government hasn’t provided a date for work to start on the A9 dualling between Birnam and the Jubilee Bridge.”
The Scottish Government is waiting for the preferred route to be agreed before the formal process of starting the construction can go ahead.
Answering Mr Fraser’s question, Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport, said: “Determination of the optimal procurement option is a complex exercise which is considering a pipeline of work in a form that can be delivered by the industry, supports the economic recovery post COVID and minimises disruption to users of this lifeline route.
“It is expected this analysis will be completed in the coming weeks and will inform decision making on our procurement approach and phasing.”
Councillor Anne Jarvis, who represents the Strathtay ward, added: “The A9/A822/A923 staggered junction is very busy. People travelling via the A822 from Dunkeld to Trochry and Amulree have two dangerous manoeuvres to make. Lighted bollards at the turning into Dunkeld would make it safer turning right from the A9 but are lighted bollards going to be installed at the A822/A9 junction?
“In the interests of safety, this should happen now and not have to wait till the A9 dualling is completed.”
However, Mr Fraser expressed his dissatisfaction that no date has been established for the road work to begin.
He explained: “We had the opening of the dualling stretch of the A9 between Luncarty and the Pass of Birnam in August, so people are keen to hear news of a definite timetable for the Birnam to Jubilee Bridge stage – they have been waiting a long time to hear about this.
“In his written answers to me, the Transport Secretary said that a market consultation exercise had taken place regarding the Birnam to Jubilee Bridge dualling project, but it would bring great relief to local residents to hear about an actual timescale of work.”