A series of public exhibitions on route options for dualling the A9 Inverness to Perth road started yesterday in the Highlands.
Plans for upgrading the 80 miles of single carriageway have been split in to 12 parts, to enable proposals to be developed at a local level following public engagement.
In each section, three indicative route options have been developed within a 200yard-wide corridor, which is centred on the existing road. These include widening the existing A9 on the northbound or southbound side, or widening both sides.
The eventual route will involve a combination of approaches to avoid or reduce environmental impacts such as noise or constraints like flood risk and conservation areas.
The first meeting took place yesterday in Newtonmore Village Hall for people to view and comment on plans for the Dalwhinnie to Crubenmore stretch.
Jo Blewett, A9 dualling programme manager for Transport Scotland, said: “This is about explaining to people a range of indicative route options to be further developed and taken forward for assessment. It is a case of us talking to people who might have a stake hold in the project.”
Patricia Brown, 46, from Newtonmore, said: “I support the construction of the dual carriageway as long as it minimises the environmental impact in the area as much as possible. I would like to see sound proofing earth mounds put in place and trees being planted to stop the impact of noise.”
Barabra Cross, 55, from Newtonmore, said: “I don’t think there is anything I would change about what I have seen in these initial plans. A lot of care and time has been put in to planning this by the people who know best.”
There will be another chance to see the proposed route options for this section in Newtonmore on Wednesday between 4pm and 8pm. The Crubenmore to Kincraig options will be exhibited between 11am and 4pm in Kingussie Hall, and again on June 9 between 4pm and 8pm.
Next month, Strathdearn Village Hall in Tomatin will be the venue for an exhibition on options for the Tomatin-Moy section. The first will take place on Tuesday, June 10 from 11am-4pm and the second a week later from 4pm-8pm. the Dalraddy to Slochd dualling options will be displayed at Aviemore Community Centre on Wednesday, June 11 from 11am-4pm and the following day from 4pm-8pm.
The final Highland exhibitions will take place at Dalwhinnie Village Hall and cover the Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie dualling project. These take place on Wednesday, June 25 from 11am-4pm and the following day from 4pm-8pm.