The historic site of a famous Jacobite victory dating back to 1689 could be forever ruined as a result of the £3 billion A9 dualling, irate residents have claimed.
Neighbouring community members have banded together as they feel their concerns over the impact of building a new carriageway through the site of the ancient battleground at Killiecrankie are being ignored.
The Scottish Government plans to build the new carriageway to the south of the A9 for the Pitlochry Killiecrankie Pass to Blair Atholl Garry Bridge section.
The existing A9 goes through part of the ancient Killiecrankie battleground but local residents bitterly oppose the new dualling route.
They state it will have a detrimental affect on existing properties and will impact on the Killiecrankie battlefield memorial cairn.
They also suggest houses and businesses to the south of the current A9 will be affected by traffic noise.
Instead, they want the new carriageway built to the north of the A9 and state they’ve received no explanation from the Scottish Government as to why this can’t be done despite lodging a letter of complaint to them.
Daniel Price, who owns Killiecrankie battlefield land on both sides of the A9, said: “The construction company (Jacobs) invited me to private meetings as a land owner — purely, I suspect, so that they can tick boxes showing they have done what the process requires them to do, without ever taking the points I have made seriously.
“I have repeatedly invited them to come and look at the ground in question but they have only just taken up my offer.”
He continued: “As the current recommendations stand, the Scottish Government is proposing the new A9 carriageway be built to the south of the existing road, thereby causing the most destruction, while the grass covered fields to the north stand empty.
“It just does not make sense.”
And James Rattray, who lives at the Coach House, Killiecrankie, around 300 metres from the A9, added: “We discovered we have all been asking the same questions. Several of us have written letters expressing our concerns to the developers about the damage and impact they will cause by building the new carriageway to the south of the existing A9, when there are open fields on the opposite side of the road.
“Our legitimate concerns have not been taken seriously.”
The residents and businesses directly affected by the proposed A9 dualling have sent a formal letter of complaint to the Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf regarding the planned route through the historic battlefield.
And Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said he feels the residents’ concerns should be heard.
“The Battle of Killiecrankie is the site of one of the Jacobites most stunning victories and I would hope that the contractors and Transport Scotland work together to preserve it,” he said.
“As the A9 dualling works progress, there will continue to be conflicts over where best to place the carriageway and it is vital that the contractors and Transport Scotland give residents fair hearing during this process.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson confirmed they had conducted a metal detecting survey of the battlefield to help with the A9 dualling design and minimise any impact on this “important” historical site.
“As part of our ambitious duallling programme, we are now taking forward the next stage of design with a view to publishing draft road orders for formal comment later this year,” he said.
“We have recently received the complaint letter and will consider its contents and respond in due course.”
The A9 dualling is one of Scotland’s largest transport infrastructure programmes which aims to upgrade 80 miles of single carriageway between Perth and Inverness.