In 2008, the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) set out the future investment programme for transport in Scotland over two decades including the proposed upgrade of the A9. As part of this upgrade work, the STPR identified dualling sections from Perth to Blair Atholl, then Aviemore to Inverness and Blair Atholl to Aviemore.
Then, in December 2011, the Scottish Ministers confirmed a commitment to upgrade the A9 between the cities of Perth and Inverness to full dual carriageway by 2025 as part of their Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP), which outlined £60 billion of spending by 2030. This also committed to dual the A96 by 2030, ensuring the road network between all Scottish cities will be dual carriageways.
We are working with key agencies, authorities and local communities to address the challenges, including:
- new bridges and major bridge widening
- improving accessibility for local communities
- addressing accident clusters
- managing the impact on the many environmental designations
- improving access to tourist and recreation sites including the Cairngorms National Park
- minimising impact of construction
- upgrading the existing dual carriageway sections to a standard consistent with the new route
Transport Scotland is working with key agencies, authorities and local communities to find the best solutions.
Transport Scotland worked with key agencies to develop a strategy for the delivery of such a large and complex project. The A9 dualling strategy is designed to account for risks and opportunities over the course of the project, as well as maximising the benefits that the dualling may bring.
As work on the programme progresses, Transport Scotland will ensure that arrangements for participation are inclusive, open and transparent and that a wide range of participants are encouraged to get involved.
All proposals are developed following the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) and with planning permissions gained through the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
Design development stages for the A9
Stage 1 (Strategic Assessment)
- Strategic planning and development of improved transport links between Perth and Inverness
- This stage is complete - The Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), published in 2008, broadly defined the need for the A9 to be dualled between Perth and Inverness
- Topographical and environmental surveys
- Traffic and business surveys
Stage 2 (Route Options Assessment)
- Development and assessment of route options for upgrading the A9 from single to dual carriageway
- This includes an engineering and environmental assessment of the potential impacts of each option to inform the route choice
- During this stage the options will be made available for consultation
- Following this assessment and consultation, the preferred option is then selected and taken forward to the detailed stage
Stage 3 (Detailed Design and Assessment)
- Detailed assessment and definition of the preferred dualling option
- An Environmental Statement is prepared and the land required for the dualling is also identified
Statutory Process (Publication of Environmental Statement and Orders)
- The draft Compulsory Purchase Order (defining the extent of the proposed land required to deliver the scheme), the draft Roads Orders (defining the line of the proposed infrastructure) and the Environmental Statement (ES) are published
- Any statutory objections, which are lodged during the defined period but remain unresolved, are then considered at a Public Local Inquiry (PLI)
- If the objections are upheld following the PLI, the scheme may have to be amended and taken through the statutory process again
- If the objections are resolved or dismissed, then the draft orders are finalised and made
- Following the publication of the made orders, there is a legal challenge period. After this point the legal permissions have been obtained and the preferred option can proceed with the necessary acquisition of land
Procurement (Tender process to appoint a works contractor)
- Prior Information Notices (PIN) are issued and Contract Notices follow - inviting suppliers to express an interest in the procurement
- Pre Qualification process is used to shortlist suppliers that will be invited to tender
- An Invitation to Tender (ITT) is issued to the shortlist of suppliers. The tenders are evaluated by Transport Scotland, a supplier is selected and the contract is awarded. The preferred dualling option can then move to the construction phase