Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Perthshire South & Kinross-shire constituency, has called on the Tory administration on Perth & Kinross Council to confirm whether or not they intend to provide funding for a new off ramp from the A9 just north of Blackford.
Speaking today (Wednesday) Ms Cunningham said:
“There is a major issue with lorry traffic heading for Highland Spring in Blackford having to go through the village. This is creating a great deal of concern locally, particularly in relation to pollution and road safety.
“During the recent Budget process within the Council, the SNP Group proposed that £350,000 be set aside, specifically to address this problem.
“The investment of this sum would allow the Council, in partnership with Highland Spring to build a slip road off the northbound carriageway of the A9 at the northern end of Blackford, thus allowing heavy traffic to bypass the village.
“The SNP amendment containing this proposal was defeated and the Tory administration’s budget did not refer to the scheme at all but that need not be an end to the matter.
“What there is, within the budget, is a £20 million structural maintenance pot for the whole of the Perth & Kinross Council area, although the Tories have not come forward with any sort of idea as to what sort of projects that might fund.
“When Blackford Councillor, Tom Gray, was putting the case for the Blackford slip road, a Tory Councillor, Anne Jarvis, stated that of course the A9 Blackford road could be funded by the structural maintenance fund.
“She was, of course, correct in pointing that out. The question is whether the Tories are prepared to commit to ‘could’ becoming ‘will’. Because political will is all that it will take.
“I am writing to Murray Lyle, the Leader of the Council, seeking an assurance that this important road project will indeed be included in the plans for the structural maintenance fund.
“I very much hope that I will get a positive response on this from Cllr Lyle and that this suggestion wasn’t just a throwaway comment by the Tories in an effort to get their budget passed, to be forgotten once the votes were gathered in.”