Scotland’s transport minister praised a bumper year at Road Expo as she opened the devolved nation's largest traffic and transport event with a keynote address.
With numbers up by around 25% on last year's show, there was a huge crowd for the minister who used her speech to confirm the Scottish government’s commitment to invest in its trunk road network.
Minister for transport Fiona Hyslop told delegates: ‘I am excited that this key conference and your exhibitions demonstrate this potential and I would encourage all of you to make the most of the presentations [and] speak to the exhibitors about the opportunities that are available to the sector.’
Ms Hyslop went on to stress the importance of industry events in collaboration on key issues: ’We know we need to do more; the government, industry, business and communities must work together, be ambitions and drive the change necessary.'
She went on to outline the Scottish Government's continuing roads agenda.
'The Scottish Government remains firmly committed to dualling the whole of the A9 between Perth and Inverness. We’ve already spent over £450m in progressing the design and statutory approvals... as well as completing the dualling of sections between Kincraig and Dalraddy and Luncarty to Pass of Birnam,' she said.
She also cited the recent relaunch of the procurement of the next section, between Tomatin and Moy, with the aim of signing a £150m contract in early summer of 2024 based on ‘a balanced share of risk between the Scottish ministers and the contractor'.
The minister added: ’Work to determine the most suitable procurement options for the remaining sections of the A9 is now well advanced, and we expect to provide an update on this work in the coming weeks.’
She also set out the Scottish Government’s work to address the ongoing problem of landslides affecting the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful.
A separate presentation at the event set out progress on plans to provide medium-term and long-term solutions, with work to improve the Old Military Road alternative route beginning shortly alongside design work for a rockfall tunnel.