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Call for A82 upgrades to be prioritised

Stewart Maclean of the A82 Partnership next to the busy trunk road
Stewart Maclean of the A82 Partnership next to the busy trunk road

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the new transport minister to prioritise upgrades for the A82 Inverness to Glasgow road.

The party’s transport spokesman Mike Rumbles is urging Humza Yousaf MSP to commit to investment in the busy trunk road.

Mr Rumbles’s first move in his new transport role was to table parliamentary questions pressing the Scottish Government to step up plans to upgrade the A82.

His questions follow anger that the SNP failed to include the need to improve the A82 in its manifesto – as it did in 2007 and 2011 – despite naming plans for eight other roads in Scotland.

The party said its investment plan would include improvements to the A9, A96, A77, A75, M74, A7, A1 and A68.

Mr Rumbles stressed that his party had included the A82 in its manifesto.

He said: “It is not surprising that the omission of any A82 upgrade plans from the SNP manifesto has, given their election, cast doubt on the priority the Scottish Government gives this vital artery connecting the west Highlands and islands with the central belt.

“Given the appointment of Humza Yousaf MSP as the Transport Minister, I hope he takes this opportunity to ensure the Scottish Government commits fully to much-needed upgrades on the A82, particularly between Onich and Fort William.”

Mr Rumbles questions relate to realigning and widening the A82 between Onich and Fort William in Lochaber and the upgrading of the stretch between Tarbet to Inverarnan.

Stewart MacLean, of the A82 Partnership, previously said his group was disappointed the SNP manifesto did not include any reference to the upgrading of the A82 in its manifesto as it had contacted all the parties while they were preparing their manifestos.

At that time, an SNP spokesman said: “We have invested £71.7million in the route since 2007, including the completion of the Crianlarich Bypass and the Pulpit Rock Improvements.

“The SNP are committed to further upgrading the A82 and initial work in advance of the upgrade began in February – meeting the pledge made by Transport Minister Derek Mackay to the A82 Partnership.”

He added the party knew how important this route was to the communities it served and was determined to ensure it continued to be improved.

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