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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21034: Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 16 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether the planning process followed in the A9 dualling project adequately protects the interests of local communities and wider communities concerned with the historic and natural environments, and what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 28 January 2019

The projects that make up the A9 dualling programme are being promoted through the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 and assessed in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations which protects the interest of those who have concerns, including concerns relating to the historic and natural environments.

The environmental impact assessment process has informed decision-making throughout the design development process to address potentially significant effects where practicable, such as by refinement of the route alignment or by the incorporation of measures to avoid or prevent, reduce, remedy or offset any potential adverse environmental effects.

Working with those affected by the A9 dualling programme is at the heart of our planning and we have been engaging extensively since 2012. This has included undertaking numerous engagement events on each project to consult local communities, road users, businesses and individuals, and take into account feedback received as plans are developed.

As part of the statutory process Transport Scotland has published an Environmental Statement for each project which presents the findings of the environmental impact assessment and also includes the approach taken to consultation. A copy of each Environmental Statement published to date on the A9 dualling programme is available from the Transport Scotland website at: https://www.transport.gov.scot/projects/a9-dualling-perth-to-inverness/ .