A9 Dualling To Avoid ‘Enchanted Forest’
Locals in Pitlochry and visitors to the Perthshire town will welcome news that a proposed dualled section of the A9 between Pitlochry and Killiecrankie will have no impact on the venue for the hugely popular “Enchanted Forest” event held in Faskally Wood every autumn.
The preferred route for the over 4 mile stretch of the road goes on public display today and tomorrow in Pitlochry Town Hall.
Over the next few weeks a series of public exhibitions are to be held to let road users and local communities view and comment on the preferred routes for three more sections of the dualling programme – Pitlochry to Killiecrankie, Tomatin to Moy and Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie - covering over 16 miles of the dualling programme.
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work encouraged people to take the chance to view the proposals.
Mr Brown said:
“The A9 Dualling programme is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history. One of the challenges of dualling the route is trying to fit the road through some of the country’s most striking landscapes including the Cairngorms National Park.
“On this stretch of the road our design consultants have worked hard to identify a route that avoids any impact on the area of ancient woodland in Faskally Wood well-known as the home of the popular “Enchanted Forest” event that attracted over 70,000 visitors this year. The preferred route also avoids the need for a new structure over Loch Faskally and will lead to less disruption for road users during construction.
“As part of the design work, we have engaged with landowners and local bodies, including the community council, as well as holding a series of public exhibitions and drop-in sessions as our plans were developed.
“These exhibitions are the first in a series of public engagement events over the next few weeks including the identification of three more preferred routes. Combining these with the three sections we consulted on earlier this year, we have now identified preferred routes for over 36 miles of the 80 miles to be dualled – meaning that nearly half of the route to be dualled is at preferred route status - and we are on target to complete the dualling in 2025.
“At the same time, the construction work on the section between Kincraig and Dalraddy – the first to be dualled – is well underway and is expected to be complete in summer 2017.
“When completed the dualled A9 will bring many benefits including faster journey times, better journey time reliability and road safety improvements for anyone travelling between the cities of Perth and Inverness.”
Compared to the other options, the preferred route for the section of the A9 between Pitlochry and Killiecrankie:
· avoids the need for a new structure over Loch Faskally to the west of the existing crossing
· reduces direct impact on Faskally Wood, an area of ancient woodland and avoids the site of the “Enchanted Forest” event which attracts thousands of visitors every autumn every year
· is the least expensive option and
· is easier to build and requires less traffic management during construction
NOTES TO EDITORS
The exhibition material for the Pitlochry to Killiecrankie preferred route can be found at: http://www.transport.gov.scot/project/a9-pitlochry-killiecrankie
Details of the public engagement events:
Pitlochry to Killiecrankie project: Preferred route
Wednesday 9 November, 3pm – 7pm
Thursday 10 November, 11am – 7pm
Pitlochry Town Hall, West Moulin Road,
Pitlochry, PH16 5EA
Tomatin to Moy project: Preferred route
Monday 14 November, 3pm – 8pm
Tuesday 15 November, 11am – 8pm
Strathdearn Village Hall, Tomatin, Inverness, IV13 7YN
Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie project: Preferred route
Dalwhinnie to Crubenmore project: Design developments
Killiecrankie to Glen Garry Project: Design developments
Wednesday 23 November, 12 noon – 7 pm
Dalwhinnie Village Hall, Dalwhinnie PH19 1AB -
Opportunity to view and comment on the preferred route and further design developments for the Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie project. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to view material from the recent drop-in for the nearby Dalwhinnie to Crubenmore project. On display will be the design developments which have taken place since the preferred route for this project was announced earlier this year.
Thursday 24 November, 12 noon – 7 pm
Blair Atholl Village Hall, Main Road, Blair Atholl PH18 5SG –
Visitors will be able to view design developments including proposed access arrangements and proposals for non-motorised users for the Killiecrankie to Glen Garry project following identification of the preferred route earlier this year. There will also be an opportunity to view the preferred route and further design developments for the nearby Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie project.
Friday 25 November, 10 am – 4 pm
Killiecrankie Village Hall, Killiecrankie PH16 5LG –
Visitors will be able to view design developments including proposed access arrangements and proposals for non-motorised users for the Killiecrankie to Glen Garry project following identification of the preferred route earlier this year.