Locals have voiced their frustration at Google for the diversion of A9 traffic through Perthshire villages.
However, despite the road remaining open during the works, Google Maps has been telling drivers it is closed – diverting them through villages such as Almondbank.
Roads ‘can’t cope’
David Murphy has elderly parents living in Almondbank.
“The roads around this area are busy enough without all this extra traffic coming from the A9,” he said.
“It’s totally crazy that Google Maps would send traffic down these roads when the A9 isn’t even closed.
“There has been constant traffic coming through.
“My parents are in their 80s and my mum said it’s been horrendous just trying to cross the road.”
David claims the issue has been ongoing for at least a month.
“The roads here can’t cope,” he continued.
“Google has been told the road isn’t shut, yet it keeps saying it is.
“A car was hit earlier in the month, too.”
Google technology ‘frustrating to rectify’
Bailie Claire McLaren has been left frustrated trying to get the issue rectified.
The councillor for Strathtay Ward told The Courier: “Residents have been plagued by excessive volumes of traffic travelling through the villages due to the carriageway realignment of the A9.
“Route navigation systems have incorrectly shown the A9 to have been closed.
“Not only has this caused locals immense disruption to their daily lives, some have experienced damage to their parked vehicles and, worst still, loss of pets.”
She added: “Google has been contacted on numerous occasions by both Perth and Kinross Council and residents, resulting in the closed route showing open, only to revert to closed in a couple of days.
“An example of AI technology being inaccurate and frustrating to rectify.
“The earlier-than-scheduled reopening of the A9 route later next week will be of great relief to Almondbank and Pitcairngreen residents.”
Small communities ‘getting hit hardest’
However, one A9 campaigner fears the Google Maps problem may have a lasting impact on the area.
Katharine Huggett runs the A9 Traffic Info Page on Facebook and is a community councillor in Blackford.
“There’s been traffic turning at the Tibbermore junction which is not grade separated – it’s a risk,” she said.
“I’ve heard a cat was recently killed in Pitcairngreen, and that might’ve been caused by the increased traffic.
“It’s not just the volume, it’s the speed too – the small communities are getting hit hardest.”
When approached by The Courier, Google did not confirm what caused the issue, but a spokesperson confirmed background work has now taken place to fix it.