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Major upgrade for West Coast trunk road (19/04/06)
HITRANS, the strategic transport authority for the Highlands and Islands, is delighted at the announcement today (Wednesday) by Tavish Scott, the Transport Minister, to upgrade the A82 Glasgow to Fort William/Oban road to a modern standard. This announcement follows on from the economic study into the A82 carried out by HITRANS last summer. This economic study identified the benefits in jobs and investment to the economy in the West Highlands which would result from removing the bottlenecks on Loch Lomondside, Crainlarich, and the Onich to Fort William sections of the A82.
Councillor Charlie King, Chairman of HITRANS, said he was pleased that that the Highlands and Islands Regional Transport Partnership with its strategic thinking was starting to have some effect on plans for transport and the economy of the area and that this was a good example of Councils working together with the Scottish Executive to produce meaningful solutions that would have a lasting impact on the Highlands.
He said: "The economy of the West Highlands has suffered a downturn in recent years and this good news will provide the badly needed boost that the business community needs to invest in jobs in the area. The population of the West Highlands can now look forward to improved access to Glasgow with better confidence in journey times, more efficient bus and coach trips and improved freight movement for HGVs. Links to the south from the Highlands will be dramatically improved with this investment."
His views were echoed by The Highland Council Convener Councillor Alison Magee, who also noted the planned improvements to the southern gateway to the Highlands – between Perth and Blair Atholl.
She said: "This is very good news for the Highlands. We have been campaigning for improvements to the A 82 for many years and it is rewarding to see progress now being made."