Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Accusation A9 campaigners are getting ‘preferential’ treatment to A96 because MSP is Deputy First Minister

Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie.
Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie.

Transport Scotland has been accused of giving preferential treatment to A9 campaigners over a group in Moray because they are constituents of the Deputy First Minister.

Residents in the Perthshire communities of Dunkeld and Birnam were given co-creative status to help guide the route for the A9 Inverness road.

Campaigners in Forres want the same status to help plan a bypass for the town as part of the upgraded A96 Aberdeen road.

The action group held talks with Transport Scotland earlier this month when it announced its preferred route between Hardmuir and Fochabers.

Transport Scotland has denied there is any preferential treatment and insists the “novel” approach was used for Dunkeld and Birnam due to the area being “relatively constrained”.

However, Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie has said it is unacceptable that the two communities are being treated differently – believing a possible reason to be John Swinney representing Perthshire North.

He said: “The Scottish Government has committed to dualling both the A9 and A96.

>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter

“I have consistently opposed this unnecessary expenditure, which will only make it harder to meet our climate change obligations.

“The constituents of the Deputy First Minister were given the opportunity to work with Transport Scotland to develop the proposed A9 route and the Forres community should have the same opportunity.

“It’s simply not good enough that the Deputy First Minister’s constituents are treated preferentially to mine.”

A co-creative process involves locals working with Transport Scotland to establish the best route before a public vote is held.

The preferred route for the upgraded A96, which runs to the north of Forres and the south of Elgin, was unveiled this month.

Nearly 1,500 people attended four public exhibitions to view the proposals and have their say.

And yesterday, Transport Scotland continued to encourage people to voice their opinions on the proposed route of the road.

A spokesman explained that work was currently on-going to establish how successful the co-creative process has been in Perthshire.

He said: “There is certainly no question of any preferential treatment.

“The outcome of the process has identified the community’s preferred option for dualling and this option is currently subject to an on-going scoping exercise including meeting with the residents that are potentially affected by the construction of this option as well as the key stakeholders.

“A full evaluation of the process can only be completed once we know how co-creative can support the promotion of the scheme through statutory procedures.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in