A82 included in manifesto commitments

Uneven road surfaces on the A82, North Road entrance to Fort William. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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Following lobbying by the A82 Partnership, three of the main parties fighting the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Elections have included the problematic trunk road in their manifesto commitments.

Liberal Democratic Party leader Willie Rennie said his party supports the recommendations of the Infrastructure Commission that more emphasis needs to be given to the maintenance of public assets.

‘The poor condition of many roads shows why improvements are needed,’ he added.

‘We also recognise communities deserve a standard of core connectivity to the rest of Scotland and new safety measures. That is why we continue to support investment programmes such as the A9, A96 and for the A82 and A83 corridors.

Under the heading of ‘Improve Connectivity’, The Scottish National Party has made the following commitment: ‘The A82 is a key artery linking the West Highlands.

‘We’ve made progress in upgrading the A82 and will make further progress in the next Parliament.’

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party have stated ‘several key routes in Scotland are in desperate need of improvement, including the A77 and A75, which are vital for ports in the area, the A82 between Glasgow and Inverness, the A90 between Dundee and Aberdeen, the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, and the A9 between Perth and Inverness’.

Commenting on the commitments in the manifesto, Stewart Maclean, spokesperson for the A82 Partnership, said: ‘It is encouraging to note that in all three manifestos the A82 has been ‘elevated’ to the same level as the A9 and the A96.

‘Following the results of the election we will be pressing the new Scottish Government to follow through on their manifesto commitments.’

The upgrading of the A82 has also been included in the Strategic Transport Project Review 2 (Phase 1) (STPR2) with a specific reference to ‘strengthening key links such as Tarbet to Inverarnan’. The STPR2 will inform the Scottish Government’s transport investment programme over the next 20 years.