Scottish Ministers have given the go-ahead to completing statutory procedures for four more schemes on the A9 Dualling Perth to Inverness.
In Perthshire, these include just over 8km between the Tay Crossing and Ballinluig, around 6.5km between Pitlochry and Killiecrankie and almost 10km from Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie.
The work to prepare orders for these four schemes, totalling over 35 km, is well under way with publication expected over the coming months.
The Scottish Government also expect public local inquiry reports to be submitted to Ministers for a further three schemes in the coming months.
Subject to positive decisions from the public local inquiry process on these three schemes, this would pave the way for completing the statutory processes for approximately 92% of the programme.
The design work for the remaining scheme between Pass of Birnam and Tay Crossing is also continuing and it is expected that the the preferred option for this stretch of the route will be shared later this year.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “This government remains committed to dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness, one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history.
“Hot on the heels of publishing Made Orders for the most northerly scheme between Tomatin and Moy, we are pushing forward with the necessary preparatory work to progress the publication of Made Orders for four more schemes with a total length of over 35 km.
“At the same time, to help inform the future delivery plans for the dualling programme, we are engaging with industry representatives to ensure that the remainder of the programme, including these four schemes, is delivered effectively and efficiently.
“This engagement will balance the considerable benefits of the programme against financial risk and any impacts on local communities. We expect this process to conclude in summer 2021.”
Deputy First Minister and Perthshire North MSP John Swinney said he has asked that local communities are consulted about the future plans.
He added: “This is welcome news, and further demonstration of the Scottish Government’s commitment to this crucial infrastructure project.
“The dualling of the A9 will address the very serious safety record of the road, whilst unlocking economic potential and futureproofing one of the main roads in the country.
“It is an ambitious and bold project that will benefit the lives of people and businesses across Perthshire.
“I have urged the Scottish Government to consult closely with local communities and groups, so as to ensure that any areas of concern receive detailed and sympathetic consideration.
“I am pleased that the Scottish Government has taken seriously these representations, and I am satisfied that they have engaged extensively with local stakeholders.”