Perthshire primary pupils are stuck on the wrong side of Scotland’s most dangerous road after their walk to school was swept away by Storm Babet.
Sophie Dobson and her children are among the families stranded by the loss of an underpass that connected the hamlet of Inver to Dunkeld on the other side of the A9.
Arthur, 9, and Margot, 5, would normally use the path and wooden bridge to walk or cycle to their school in Dunkeld.
However, the crossing was smashed to pieces and a large chunk of embankment was gouged out when the River Braan flooded at the weekend.
Mum Sophie has asked Perth and Kinross Council to put transport for the pair in place while the underpass is out of action.
But she’s been told that won’t be possible without a route assessment.
And she’s been given no indication of when that might be carried out.
“Our kids can’t get to and from primary school without having to attempt a dangerous crossing of the A9 on foot,” she said.
“It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Sophie spoke out after road safety campaigners told The Courier the Dunkeld underpass collapse poses a serious safety threat.
Locals say pedestrians and cyclists are taking their lives in their hands by crossing over the A9 instead.
The Perth-Inverness trunk road claimed 13 lives last year and is frequently closed due to accidents.
Crossing A9 at Dunkeld is ‘terrifying’
Arthur and Margot’s dad Andrew Tracey has been driving them to the Royal School of Dunkeld in the mornings since the underpass was swept away.
That means he’s late getting to his office in Glasgow, and later still getting back home to Inver at night.
Sophie doesn’t drive. She had to cross the A9 herself on Tuesday afternoon so she could take Arthur and Margot to their after-school activities in Birnam.
The family then had to wait on that side of the road until Andrew could pick them up on his way home from Glasgow.
Sophie is questioning why a route assessment is necessary, given the dangerous nature of the A9 and the absence of an alternative crossing.
“The thought of crossing that road with children is terrifying,” she said.
“The traffic is even worse than usual just now with the roadworks. People’s frustrations are running high.
“Several of our elderly neighbours have given up driving altogether because the junction is so bad.”
Council quizzed on safety concerns
The Courier asked Perth and Kinross Council to respond to Sophie’s concerns.
It has also asked the local authority to comment on the concerns of road safety campaigners.
The underpass was also the main route for walkers heading from Dunkeld to the National Trust for Scotland site at The Hermitage.
Locals say they have seen cyclists and groups of pedestrians walking beside the A9 in recent days.
Some have been observed dodging traffic to cross the road.
North Perthshire MSP John Swinney wrote to Perth and Kinross Council on Monday calling for a swift solution.
He said: “It is vital that action is taken as quickly as possible to ensure that a safe walking route exists for those seeking to travel between Inver and Dunkeld and Birnam.
Mr Swinney added: “The reports of people crossing the A9 by foot are concerning. And I would urge everyone in the strongest possible terms not to put themselves at risk in this manner.”