Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said the failure of the SNP Government to invest in upgrading the A82 is costing jobs in Fort William and Lochaber.
Mr Halcro Johnston, the Scottish Conservative candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch at this year’s Scottish Parliament elections, spoke after meeting with the A82 Partnership which has been campaigning to improve the vital trunk road for many years.
The Conservative’s Shadow Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary said: “In rural communities across the Highlands and Islands, good and reliable infrastructure links are vital in supporting jobs and growth, as well as supporting local people’s ability just to go about their everyday lives.
“And so I share the frustration of local campaigners at the Scottish Government’s failure - over many years - to fulfil its promises and invest in making improvements to the A82. Fort William is promoted at the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ but, even just to get here from other parts of Scotland, visitors are expected to navigate a road that hasn’t seen a significant upgrade in decades."
“This failure is undoubtedly undermining the ability of local businesses to invest and grow as they would like to, and that means jobs and livelihoods are going begging at a time when the impact of the pandemic means we will need them more than ever."
“It is quite extraordinary that the local SNP MSP Kate Forbes, who actually controls the Scottish Government’s purse-strings in Edinburgh, has been running a survey on the A82 inviting people to tell her where the priorities should be for improvement, something everyone I’ve spoken to locally could have told her years ago."
“We don’t need more surveys from SNP politicians, we need more action from their government in Edinburgh.”