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Transport Scotland works with Communities in A9 Dualling

LISTEN: Gemma Patterson explains how local community groups are getting involved in the A9 dualling project

Construction project celebrates the success of collaborative approach boosting opportunities for the people of Perthshire

Transport minister Graeme Dey has visited the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project to recognise the range of benefits delivered to the communities of Perthshire throughout the project’s construction period.

Mr Dey was joined by members of local community organisation, Stanley Development Trust and charity, Cycling Without Age Scotland, as members of the Trust explored some of the 4 km of cycle paths, constructed as part of the £96 million infrastructure project to upgrade this section of the A9 to dual carriageway  

Mr Dey said: “Transport infrastructure is key to improving connectivity in rural areas like Highland Perthshire and all across Scotland. It is also key to boosting economic prosperity and growth nationally and locally. The new and upgraded non-motorised user (NMU) route, some of which we’ve made use of during my visit, supports active travel choices and encourage people to opt to walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys.

“The community benefits delivered as part of this project will leave a legacy beyond the construction phase and have changed lives for the better, and I would like to congratulate all involved for the collaborative approach taken to enable these benefits to be realised.”

Since contract award, the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project has delivered the following community benefits:

65 new job opportunities, including

4 new jobs through employment support service, FairStart Scotland

2 new jobs to young people through Barnardos Works Programme

2 new jobs to rehabilitating offenders

Engagement with 4,046 school pupils and further education students

65 work experience placements

50 days of volunteering to support grass root community initiatives

7 apprentice and 10 graduate placement roles on site

Donations of more than £13,663 to local good causes from Balfour Beatty and its sub-contractors. 

Gemma Patterson, project sponsor for Transport Scotland, said: “The successful delivery of this major infrastructure project, has recently reached its biggest milestone as the road opened to traffic in August. This provides an opportunity to reflect on, and to celebrate the breadth of opportunities that have benefited the people and communities of Perthshire.

“Community benefits were an integral part of the contract awarded to Balfour Beatty to upgrade the A9 to dual carriageway between Luncarty and the Pass of Birnam, and I am delighted to report that the project has successfully delivered on the challenging targets set at the outset.

“With the help of our community partners, the project has maximised employment and work placements, delivered skills and training to support young people at school, colleges and universities, and has inspired and encouraged careers using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the next generation of engineers – that is our legacy.”

The construction works to dual the existing 9.5 km of single carriageway north of Perth to Pass of Birnam began in earnest in February 2019, following the appointment of Balfour Beatty as the main contractor in September 2018.

The project involved the construction of four new bridges over the A9 and the removal of all direct accesses to the A9 carriageway. These measures have improved the safety of the route and will reduce driver frustration and stress by providing more opportunity to overtake safely.

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