MSP Rhoda Grant has asked the Scottish Government when the much-awaited £9million Berriedale Braes road improvement scheme will start after years of pushing Transport Secretaries to get moving on the project.
She has lodged a Parliamentary Question asking the Government for a start date and the available funding, saying there had been a “deathly silence” on what has happened to the scheme.
Former Transport Secretary, Derek Mackay, made it plain in a previous reply in 2016 that the Scottish Government “must await suitable funding becoming available to progress it further”.
In 2017 the then Transport Secretary, Humza Yousaf, published Made Orders for the project “as a clear commitment to deliver the scheme”.
Then in February 2018 Transport Scotland said “construction or planned improvements to the challenging hairpin bend” were expected to start this year. Four companies were invited to bid for the project.
However, in August this year the roads agency said it could not give a firm timescale for construction but suggested it could be after Easter or maybe May 2019.
“There seems to have been lots of ‘steps forward’ according to the Government but no evidence of steps on the ground,” said Mrs Grant, who represents Labour in the Highlands and Islands.
“I’m reminded of this every time I travel the A9 to Wick and Thurso.
“If this has stalled then the Government should be telling us and if not the public should be given a definite date instead of this shilly-shallying which has taken place over many years.
“Yet another winter goes by with drivers tackling this treacherous road. I’m keeping my fingers crossed there are no major accidents.”
Question S5W-20631: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/12/2018
To ask the Scottish Government when the funding for the Berriedale Braes road improvement scheme will become available, and by what date construction will start.
Current Status: Expected Answer date 14/01/2019