Revised plans to build a road over the historic Killiecrankie battlefield have left residents horrified, saying the plans are “much worse” than before.
A massive campaign was launched against the proposed route for the A9 dualling between Killiecrankie and Glen Garry, as objectors say it will destroy the historic site.
Transport Scotland has redesigned the proposals, saying they will reduce the amount of land used in the road upgrade.
But campaigners say the new plans do not protect the historic features of the site, where the Battle of Killiecrankie took place in 1689, and will make noise and disruption worse for those living nearby.
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George MacLean, a member of campaign group Killiecrankie 1689, said: “We were horrified at what we saw when we attended a meeting to see the refined designs.
“The new designs don’t improve things for the battlefield site and make things much worse for the people who live here.
“Earthworks on the battle site have been reduced in volume but this has meant that the proposed embankments on the northbound side are now very steep, rather than gradual and still will have major impact for tourists hoping to enjoy the battle site look and feel.
“The earth bund, which has been used as a sound barrier since the current A9 was built, is also to be removed and replaced by a wall of low height which will have a major sound impact across the whole village and up the hill as well.”
At a public meeting earlier this month the new designs were showcased by transport bosses. Historic relics from the conflict between the Jacobites and Government troops were also on display.
They were unearthed during an extensive archaeological survey by Transport Scotland.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We are aware of the sensitivities around what is an important inventory battlefield and we have been engaging extensively with the local community and key stakeholders since 2012.
“As the existing A9 already runs through the site of the battlefield, it was clear that any dual carriageway widening options would have some impact on it.
“Having published draft orders for the scheme last November, we have made a number of design refinements to reduce land take on the battlefield site following feedback from Historic Environment Scotland and the local community.
“We continue to work with objectors to the scheme to try and resolve any issues. However, given the number of objections it is likely that we will need to hold a Public Local Inquiry which would take place next year before any further progress can be made on the scheme.”
The designs are open for public comments until Friday. Objections have already been lodged by residents, Killiecrankie 1689 and Killiecrankie and Fincastle Community Council.
Feedback can be given until 5pm on Friday at transport.gov.scot/publication/exhibition-materials-public-information-events-octobernovember-2018-killiecrankie-to-glen-garry-a9-dualling/