A9 and A96 (Dualling Completion)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10 February 2021.

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Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

I am pleased to hear, from Jamie Halcro Johnston’s earlier question, that he is committing the Tories to dualling the A9 and the A96. He might want to tell his colleague Peter Chapman, who is against that—perhaps there is a split in the Tories. Parliament will remember that the Tories previously pledged to add a lane to the M8, which would have stripped funding from projects such as the A9 and the A96. Does the First Minister agree that that is another demonstration of Tory hypocrisy or simply confirmation that they believe that there is a magic money tree from which we can spend cash twice?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I certainly agree that looking for any consistency from the Conservatives would be much harder than looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack—it is pretty much non-existent. When you are in a position of having to take such decisions, it is important to do it properly by giving proper consideration and ensuring that the money is there to fund the commitments that you are making.

That is why the new national transport strategy, which was published in February 2020, sets the priorities and outcomes that we seek for transport. The second strategic transport project review is currently identifying the strategic transport interventions that are required to provide us with a network that is fit for the 21st century and for the post-Covid world, which is why it will lock in the positive benefits of travel behaviours of individuals.

We will continue to do that difficult but necessary work and leave the Conservatives to continue to tie themselves in knots, as they so often do.

The Presiding Officer:

That concludes First Minister’s question time.

13:32 Meeting suspended.

14:30 On resuming—