Thursday, 17 April 2014

Opponents claim A9 average speed cameras are being ‘railroaded’ through . . .


Opponents claim A9 average speed cameras are being ‘railroaded’ through

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The A9 Safety Group believes average speed cameras will save lives.DC Thomson

Furious campaigners have launched a stinging attack on Transport Scotland over plans for the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

Work to install speed cameras along the route began near Pitlochry on Monday — three weeks before the proposals are debated by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petition Committee.

Now Transport Scotland is being accused of “ignoring” the process and treating it with “total contempt”.

More than 2,000 motorists have signed a petition demanding a review of the proposals and 1,000 pages of evidence against the cameras have been submitted to the committee.

Campaigner Mike Burns said: “This is a desperate attempt to railroad through A9 average speed cameras which do not have public support.

“We are now in the ludicrous situation of an SNP Government ignoring the evidence, commissioning new reports to suit themselves and ignoring parliamentary process on the A9.

“With more revelations to come over the next few days on the substandard reports used by Transport Scotland, the SNP must show proper leadership and cancel this flawed project in order to regain voters’ trust in the Highlands, as opposed to continuing with south-over-north transport policies.”

As part of the £2.5 million system, cameras will be installed at 27 sites between Perth and Inverness. The work is expected to last around 28 weeks.

The plans cover the entire 136-mile route between Dunblane and Inverness as part of efforts to cut the number of crashes before the road is upgraded to dual carriageway by 2025. Cameras will be installed every three to four miles along single carriageway parts of the A9 between Perth and Inverness and along the dual carriageway between Perth and Dunblane.

Transport Scotland defended its decision to begin the programme, which has already been delayed and will be completed several months later than originally planned.

A spokesman said: “The A9 Safety Group firmly believes that average speed cameras will save lives on the A9. We have committed to having the system installed by October and we have to start work now to meet that deadline.

“We understand there has been a great deal of discussion about this measure but we have to trust the evidence from across the world which demonstrates the effectiveness of cameras on a variety of road types.”

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