Upgrade railways not A9, says transport group

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Railway lines should be upgraded rather than public money being spent on converting the A9 road in the Highlands to dual carriageway, a group has said.

The Scottish Association of Public Transport has made the argument in its submission to the Scottish government's spending review.

Chairman Dr John McCormick said rail links between Inverness and Perth with Aberdeen have lacked funding.

He said the association would support some upgrading of the A9.

Dr McCormick said: "I think we would be in favour of minor schemes on the A9, for instance to add additional overtaking lanes on hills as already has been done around about Newtonmore.

"But upgrading the rail service and having a larger market share using rail would help very much the CO2 emissions targets that the government have set themselves."

The A9 is being dualled from Perth to Inverness on a phased basis.

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