Transport Scotland’s £3.7 billion A9 dualling scheme was designed to deliver economic benefits of about £210 million a year through improved road safety and reliable, quicker journey times, as well as better links to pedestrian, cycling and public transport facilities.

Construction work to convert 80 miles of single carriageway to dual between Perth and Inverness began in 2015 and in December 2021, the Scottish Ministers confirmed a commitment to update the road by 2025. However, in February 2023 the Scottish Minister for Transport announced that the scheme had been delayed indefinitely, blaming the Covid pandemic, Brexit and the war in Ukraine.

With little to no progress being made on the dualling of the A9 for several years, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Mairi McAllan, confirmed on 20 December 2023 that the entire A9 dualling programme would be completed by the end of 2035.

The delivery plan involves a rolling timescale for construction, with nearly 50% of the road being dualled by the end of 2030, increasing to 85% by the end of 2033 and completion by 2035 – 10 years from the original proposed date.

The current focus is the Tomatin to Moy section, with the procurement process restarting in Autumn 2023 after a turbulent period of inflated costs due to the Ukraine war, but it is expected that in early summer this year, the contractor will be appointed and the dualling process operational by the end 2027.

The Scottish Government has said funding for the massive project has changed from traditional public finance to a new hybrid method, with some private financing accessed via a mutual investment model previously developed by the Welsh Government.

The result is that hopes of a successful delivery have risen in recent months but, with only 11 miles newly dualled in 16 years, there is still a lot to be done. Not only have communities in Perthshire and the Highlands and Islands had to wait to find out whether dualling of the A9 would finish, but there have been significant day-to-day travel delays and inconveniences.

Since the A9 dualling first starting, too many lives have been needlessly lost on what is considered Scotland’s deadliest road.

For all the individuals impacted by the A9 road dualling, we do hope that the new timescales that have been outlined can be met.

If you think you may be impacted, either through land take or depreciation of your property, and have yet to consider your options, please do get in touch with your local Galbraith office and we will be able to provide guidance.