A former senior figure in the Scottish Government is to be questioned by MSPs over the decision by ministers to dual the A9.
Alex Neil was the infrastructure and capital investment secretary when the dualling project was announced back in 2011.
With MSPs on Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee launching an inquiry into the as-yet unfinished programme of work, Mr Neil will be questioned by them.
It comes after a petition was submitted to Holyrood calling on ministers to address safety concerns on the road – which links Perth with Inverness – and to publish a revised timetable for the work, with a view to completing the project by 2025.
In addition, the petition demands a memorial be created to those who have been killed in traffic accidents on the road.
First Minister Humza Yousaf has already made clear work to dual the A9 will not be completed before the next Holyrood election in May 2026, although he insisted the Scottish Government is still “absolutely committed” to the project.
Convener of the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee Jackson Carlaw said there had been a “significant level of public interest” in the petition.
Mr Carlaw said: “Our public consultation on the A9 petition received hundreds of responses from the communities along the route, individuals who regularly use the road and the businesses who rely on it.
“The committee therefore agreed to upgrade our consideration of this petition to a formal inquiry and to invite the original Scottish Government architect of the dualling plans, former cabinet secretary Alex Neil, to now give evidence.”
Current Transport Secretary Mairi McAllan is also expected to given evidence to the inquiry, with this likely to take place after she has updated MSPs on the dualling programme this autumn.
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