ROADS: SNP told to ignore Greens and upgrade killer roads now

Emergency services are kept exceptionally busy with road accidents on the A82.

By  Bill Heaney

The SNP government are being warned the death toll on Scotland’s roads will keep rising unless they stop “pandering” to the Scottish Greens and finally deliver essential upgrades to the country’s most dangerous trunk routes.

A spate of recent fatalities on the notorious A9 and A96 – and the A82 road north, which has seen a large number of fatal accidents – has thrown into sharp focus the slow progress being made in dualling both roads – something the SNP committed to doing several years ago.

Remarkably, one of the busiest roads in Scotland, the A82 between the Stoneymollan roundabout at Balloch, which forks at Tarbet Loch Lomond for Oban and Crianlarich respectively, has remained single tracked despite numerous fatal accidents over a long number of years.

The Scottish Conservatives will lead a debate on the issue in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday), in which they will call on SNP ministers to spell out a timetable for completing the full dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness and the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen.

Shadow Transport Minister Graham Simpson, right, believes the influence of the anti-car Scottish Greens within the coalition is stalling progress on “crucial, life-saving upgrades”.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Transport Minister Graham Simpson MSP, said: “The tragic spike in fatal collisions on the A9 and A96 this year is horrific – and highlights the need for action from the Scottish Government now.

“We can’t simply accept this shocking death toll, especially when there’s something we can do to tackle it. Both these trunk roads would become safer overnight if they were fully dualled.

“SNP ministers must stop pandering to their anti-car coalition partners – the Scottish Greens – and get on with delivering these crucial, life-saving upgrades now.

“Progress on delivering what is a long-standing SNP commitment has been painfully – indeed fatally – slow. That’s unacceptable. Ministers must stop dithering and spell out an accelerated timetable for completion.

“While saving lives is the paramount consideration here, these upgrades would also boost Scotland’s economy.

“While we all want to see a reduction in unnecessary car use, what the Scottish Greens fail to understand is that for many people in remote parts of Scotland, the car is not a luxury but a necessity, due to limited public transport options.

“It’s imperative, then, that we do everything to provide them with roads that are as safe as possible.”

* There have been 13 deaths and 180 injuries as a result of collisions on the A96 in the last three years linkThe death toll on the A9 to date this year is the highest since 2010 link.

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