A9 Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing


The project forms part of the wider strategy to upgrade the A9 between Perth and Inverness to dual carriageway.

The completed programme will provide safer overtaking opportunities and, as a result, road users will experience fewer vehicle platoons and convoys.

Impact on travel

Road users may experience some delays during the construction period. On completion the upgrade should have a positive effect on driver stress levels.

Environmental impact

There is expected to be a negligible or minor impact on local air and noise quality, mainly during the construction period.

The landscape and visual impacts are predicted to be of moderate impact with opportunity for mitigation and planting.

The driver experience will be enhanced with this modern and safer dualled arrangement. Pedestrian, cycle and equestrian access will be maintained and enhanced in some areas.

Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage Two

Public exhibitions will be held on 29 and 30 January 2024 in Birnam Arts Centre.

In the meantime, an online exhibition, which includes information on the preferred route option and how it was chosen, is live for public feedback.

Further information can be found on the project Storymap.

DMRB Assessment Reports

Following the announcement of the preferred route in Winter 2023, the DMRB Stage Two Assessment Report was published following detailed assessment of the four route options and identification of the preferred route. 

The DMRB Stage 3 assessment and development of the preferred route design is now underway.

Community engagement

Community engagement is a priority with all of our projects. Working with those affected by the A9 dualling programme is at the heart of our planning and we regularly run engagement events to consult local communities, road users, businesses and individuals as our plans are progressed.

You can find details and exhibition material from engagement events below:

The preferred route option for the challenging section of the route between Pass of Birnam and Tay Crossing has been identified.

Public exhibitions - January 2024

Public exhibitions were held on 29 and 30 January 2024 in Birnam Arts Centre. An online exhibition and Story Map, which includes information on the preferred route option and how it was chosen, is available and the public can leave feedback on our plans.

Details of the A9 Dualling Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing public exhibitions:

  • Monday 29 January 2024 11am to 8pm
  • Tuesday 30 January 2024 10am to 6pm

Birnam Arts Centre
Station Rd
Dunkeld PH8 0DS

Community Drop In Event – May 2019

Community drop in events are being held on 16 and 17 May 2019 in Birnam Arts Centre as part of the A9 Dualling Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing project.

These events will provide local communities and road users an update on the design process for the section of the A9 to be dualled between Pass of Birnam and Tay Crossing.

These events will show a number of whole route options which have been developed using the options shown at the March 2019 community engagement events and will be assessed alongside the Community’s Preferred Route Option in the DMRB Stage 2 assessment.

Details of the community drop in events

  • Thursday 16 May 2019, 11.00am to 9.00pm
  • Friday 17 May 2019, 11.00am to 9.00pm

Birnam Arts Centre, Birnam, PH8 0DS

Community Engagement Event – March 2019

Community Engagement events are being held on 26 and 27 March 2019 in Birnam Arts Centre as part of the A9 Dualling Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing project.

These events will let local communities and road users see the work that has taken place since the co-creative process identified a community option last summer.

As part of that scoping work, the various elements of the community option have been examined in consultation with local residents living close to the A9 and key stakeholders. As a result a number of additional options have been developed that will now be included, along with the community’s option, in the next stage of the assessment process to identify a preferred route.

Details of the community engagement events

  • Tuesday 26 March 2019, 11.00am to 9.00pm
  • Wednesday 27 March 2019, 11.00am to 9.00pm

Birnam Arts Centre, Birnam, PH8 0DS.

Previous exhibitions

January 2016

June 2013, June 2014

Public Exhibitions were also held in June 2013 and June 2014 at various locations along the route. Additionally, since 2013 a number of drop-in sessions were held to offer the community the opportunity to speak to the project team and to raise any points or queries they may have in relation to the Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing scheme.

January / February 2012

We hosted an exhibition in January / February 2012 to give everybody the opportunity to see potential route options.

The exhibition boards are available in two parts:

See also the scheme leaflet.

Co-creative process

In 2017, a partnership between Transport Scotland and the Birnam to Ballinluig A9 Community Group initiated a co-creative process to identify the community’s preferred route. The process was open to everyone, and the community group has been involved in each stage.

From January 2018, through a five stage co-creative process the community, including children and young people, suggested ideas for the A9 dualling and associated infrastructure, and the most popular of these ideas, as voted for by the community, were used to create a short-list of four ‘Whole Route Options’. In the final stage, Stage 5, members of the public were invited to rank the four short-listed routes in order of preference and to vote for one of three related junction options at Birnam/Murthly Castle. 

The four whole route options selected for the final voting were:

  • three ‘online’ routes (Routes A, B and D) which would follow the line of the existing A9 (but partly at lower level involving a cut and cover tunnel or underpass) with junctions at Dunkeld, Dalguise and the Hermitage, and the retention of the Dunkeld & Birnam railway station
  • one ‘offline’ route (Route C) which consisted of a 2.8km tunnel to the west of the existing A9 with junctions at Dalguise and the Hermitage, and the retention of the Dunkeld & Birnam station.

The online options had varying lengths of tunnel with Route A incorporating a 1.5km tunnel, Route B a 450m tunnel and Route D an underpass of up to 150m.

To complete the whole route, three options for junctions at the Birnam and Murthly Castle end of this section were also offered:

  • a restricted movement grade-separated junction at Birnam
  • a full movement grade-separated junction adjacent to the current access at Murthly Castle
  • or a roundabout at Birnam.

Over the voting period, between 23 June and 2 July 2018, 720 people voted online or submitted voting cards. Voting was open to the public and the number of votes received represented a very strong turnout relative to the size of the community. The rankings were aggregated into total scores for each of the four short-listed routes to determine the preferred route.

Voting results

The online route (Route A) incorporating a 1.5km tunnel commencing in the area of the existing junction of the A9 with the B867 and Perth Road at Birnam and terminating in the area of the existing junction with the A923 and A822 at Little Dunkeld (See diagram, below) came out on top with the highest score, attracting 37.4% of the total of all scores across the four routes and also attracting 45% of the first place votes recorded.

Routes B, C and D attracted 23%, 22.3% and 17.3% of the total of all scores respectively. The full voting figures and scores can be found in the Stage 5 Ranking Summary Report, link included below.

Route A - Junction 1

To complete the whole route, voters expressed a clear preference to incorporate a full movement grade-separated junction at Murthly Castle, to the south of Birnam, to replace the existing Birnam junction. This option attracted 68% of the votes for junctions compatible with that route.

The community’s preferred route was announced on 13 August 2018.


Stage5 - Drive through visualisations

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Next Steps

Following the result of the vote, further work is needed before a decision can be taken by the Scottish Ministers on the preferred option for the project and this work is currently ongoing. The design will be worked up by Transport Scotland to the same level of detail as is required for all major trunk road projects to allow the Scottish Ministers to make an informed decision and with the confidence that it can be delivered successfully through the planning process.

More detailed information about key aspects such as buildability, noise and other environmental impacts, traffic and economic impacts will be investigated to ensure a robust and deliverable design is identified.

During this period Transport Scotland will be consulting with stakeholders and people who may be directly affected by the community’s preferred option as chosen at the Big Decide.


In Autumn 2016, Transport Scotland agreed to engage in a Co-creative Process with the Dunkeld and Birnam Community. The purpose of this process is to bring skills, experience and local knowledge together to reach a solution with the community.

As background, the usual assessment process for trunk road projects is being followed for this project.

Between 2012 and 2014 we completed a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to inform, at a corridor level, where dualling should take place and some key environmental themes or principles we would follow. The SEA helped inform the division of the programme into a series of projects to help us manage planning issues at a local level.

After the SEA we moved to project level assessment work, set out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB). This involves a more localised assessment of constraints and opportunities and the production of route options and assessment of their impacts.

In this area, as with the other A9 projects, we have been undertaking DMRB Stage 2 (route options) assessments. Some of that work will now be revisited as part of the co-creative process, taking into account community and programme objectives. In order to support the process, and as part of the DMRB work done to date, we have produced our assessment of the baseline (existing) conditions in the local area. This covers the usual DMRB topics.

As part of the initial community led phases a number of questions about the level of assessment to be eventually undertaken have been raised. At the end of the process, once we have a preferred option, we'll produce an Environmental Statement (ES) which assesses the preferred option against a range of topic areas. To help illustrate the level of detail that will eventually be produced, see the A9 Luncarty to Birnam ES. This document is typical of those produced for trunk road, and other developments.

Document library