Recent research has highlighted the need for two key roads in Scotland to be upgraded, as business owners say they are detrimentally affecting their operations.
The survey, conducted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) and Transport for Scotland, polled over 200 businesses.
According to the results, both the A9 and A96 are unsafe with journeys taking too long. Around 70 per cent of respondents to the survey rated the routes as ‘poor or very poor’.
Both are being updated to full length dual carriageways over the next 12 to 17 years. However, there are a number of groups calling for the work to be accelerated.
The SCDI research has also collated comments from businesses highlighting the benefits the improved roads will bring. Lower costs and increased profits underpin many of them, with many businesses now on a surer footing thanks to factoring companies across Scotland in recent years.
Commenting on the findings, the SCDI’s Michael Urquhart said:
“Businesses highlight that the greatest benefits of dualling both the A9 and A96 would be to increase the attractiveness of the north of Scotland for investment, reduce transport costs, improve business confidence, and make journeys safer.”
Urquhart went on to say that economic development would increase with the improvements, calling on Holyrood to progress with the roadworks as quickly as possible.
Reacting to the calls, Keith Brown, the transport minister for the Scottish government, said there was a commitment to improve the routes. Brown said that Holyrood understands infrastructure investment is key to sustained economic and employment growth.