Soldiers of Killiecrankie rally against A9 dualling plan

© DC Thomson
The Battle of Killiecrankie is recreated.

A battle re-enactment group which annually brings to life one of Scotland’s bloodiest clashes has spoken out against plans to dual the A9.

The Soldiers of Killiecrankie believe Transport Scotland’s preferred route – part of a £3 billion upgrade of the Inverness-Perth road – will lead to the “destruction” of the ancient battleground.

Last week, community councillors voted unanimously to oppose a one-mile stretch which passes through the site where the Jacobite rebellion famously began in 1689.

Now the Soldiers of Killiecrankie has declared it will also campaign against the development.

The group, which hosts a major event at the battleground each summer, said the new carriageway will impact on the site for future generations.

Chairman James Rattray said: “The six-week consultation period is the only opportunity we, the public, get to comment on Transport Scotland’s plan for dualling the A9 through the Killiecrankie Battlefield.

“Looking at the route chosen, purely from the perspective of the battlefield, Transport Scotland could not have come up with a more destructive plan. The people of Scotland need to be aware of this.”

Mr Rattray said: “The route chosen will result in the loss of very significant amounts of this important battlefield.

“We realise the A9 dualling is necessary, but we are hugely disappointed that the significance of this nationally important site is being paid so little respect and attention it deserves.”

The group has set up a petition against the route and its “unnecessary layby” on its website.

Mr Rattray said: “This will affect future generations and their understanding of the iconic battle which marks so many firsts and lasts.”

It was the first battle of the Jacobite wars, but also significantly the last recorded use of pikes and muskets.

Transport Scotland said it will consider all views submitted before the January 23 deadline. A spokesman said the plans had been carefully designed to minimise impact on the “important historical site”.

The A9 already runs through the battleground where around 800 Jacobites and 2000 government soldiers were killed.