Letter to the Lochaber Times, August 2023
I am certain that the A82 is far more dangerous and frightening than the A9. Along Loch Lomond on a recent wet Sunday afternoon I saw buses inching past buses, a lorry driver reversing to allow another to pass towards a packed tailback with tourists persuading other drivers to reverse, and cars terrifyingly overtaking bicyclists with inches to spare.
The A9 is constantly in the press and rightly so. It's a dangerous road, the main link to the North, and the Scottish Government are less than 20% of their way to delivering on their pledge to dual it - and have no timetable to progress it.
Imagine if you were a visitor from Canada coming to visit ‘the old country’. You landed in Glasgow, rented your campervan and headed West to see where your ancestors lived. A nervous wreck, your poor opinion would be informed before you parked up for the night, and that is even before you became aware of the lack of public toilets or waste disposal facilities for travellers.
Tourism is the lifeblood of the West Highland and Islands, yet as an industry we do not have the infrastructure to support it. Travel anywhere in the Alps and see how good it can be.
I have now written to three Scottish Transport Ministers in the last year calling for a West Highland Transport Summit in Fort William. On the agenda will be the A82, Calmac Ferries of course, the Corran crossing which desperately needs a fixed link, rubbish along our trunk roads, and congestion in Fort William. Let us hope that Fiona Hyslop has the courtesy to reply.
The Scottish Government really needs to focus on the West Highlands.
Highlands Liberal Democrat Councillor and Westminster Candidate