A group of MSPs have unanimously backed plans to increase the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles on the A9.
The decision made by members of the infrastructure and capital investment committee today means that HGVs will be able to travel at 50mph on single carriage stretches of the road from October.
The scheme is being introduced on the Inverness to Dunblane stretch in conjunction with average speed cameras.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said increasing the speed limit from 40mph to 50mph for lorries would reduce delivery times and accidents on the road by tackling driver frustration caused by slow moving vehicles.
But the SNP MSP said the success of the three pilot scheme did not necessarily mean the speed limits for HGVs would be increased on other trunk roads.
Committee member Alex Johnstone, a north-east Conservative MSP, said: “I think it is an excellent decision to go ahead with this pilot and it has been fully justified by the government
“It has been handled in an excellent way.”
Mr Brown said later he was “very pleased” the committee had approved the proposal.
He added that he was particularly happy that an opposition MSP had praised the government’s handling of the issue.
Martin Reid of the Road Haulage Association Scotland said: “We were the ones lobbying for this so we are delighted by the announcement.
“We feel it will be a major measure to reduce driver frustration and we have campaigned long and hard.
“We are aware that driver behaviour will be under scrutiny and we urge all users of the road to be sensible.
“This is something we will be making clear to our members.”
Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a very welcome step forward and will have a positive benefit for the Highland business community.
“There will soon be immense pressure of the A9 due to dualling road works so it is important we do everything we can to mitigate the impact.”