Confusion as Cabinet Secretary goes down the wrong road

Douglas Ross - question on the A95 was answered - for the A96.
Douglas Ross – question on the A95 was answered – for the A96.

A SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT minister caused confusion at Holyrood when answering a question over possibly future works on the A95 through Moray – the ‘Whisky Road’.

Last week the SNP’s Richard Lochhead MSP highlighted the importance of the route for the Speyside Whisky industry, pointing to it being so narrow in parts that it was causing serious issues for the trucking companies who ply their trade over the route.

When the Parliament reopened for business this week, Tory MSP Douglas Ross sought clarification over the issue – asking the Scottish Government if they would support the Moray Economic Partnership’s campaign for improvements on the route.

However, the answer that he received made it clear from the outset that the difference between the A95 and A96 was lost.

Mr Ross explained: “I asked the Cabinet Secretary to confirm that the Scottish Government fully supports the campaign by the Moray Economic Partnership to have the A95 improved – and given the importance of this route to the vibrant whisky industry and the local economy, did he agree that opportunities for widening the carriageways should be considered as Transport Scotland develops its maintenance programme.

“Sadly the Cabinet Secretary showed how little the Scottish Government care for communities out with the central belt by answering about a completely different road, the A96.

“I’m disappointed that when I specifically asked about the A95 and the importance of this route to both Moray and the wider economy that the Cabinet Secretary chose to ignore this road and went on to discuss the A96 instead.

“The SNP always talk big when it comes to Moray but it is now time to actually deliver the infrastructure upgrades that this main route linking Moray to the A9 needs.

“I will work with the Moray Economic Partnership to continue to hold the Scottish Government to account and ensure Moray gets the investment it deserves.”

Last week the Moray Economic Partnership revealed that they had written to the Transport Secretary on the issue in March. They have since commissioned an independent study on the route that they say will inform the improvements it requires.

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