Another death on the A9; another set of empty excuses for the continuing failure to upgrade the Perth to Inverness road to dual carriageway.
The fact that we have been here so many times before – in terms of fatalities and delays – does not make the situation any more tolerable.
It makes the latest victim – a teenager this time – all the more tragic.
And it makes every single person who has allowed the death toll to mount while the A9 dualling project is kicked into the long grass a player in a scandal.
Sixteen years have passed since the SNP made a manifesto promise that it would dual 80 miles of the route in 2007.
As the party of government, they eventually got around to announcing the commencement of the £3 billion scheme in 2019.
But four years on, just two of the 11 sections have been completed.
And in February, then transport minister Jenny Gilruth confirmed what everyone with a grip on reality already knew – that the 2025 completion date was “simply no longer achievable”.
Communities frustrated by A9 dualling delays
We are on to yet another transport minister now, the fourth in three years. Kevin Stewart said this week that he intends to provide an update on the A9 dualling programme to the Scottish Parliament “this autumn”.
That’s unlikely to bring much comfort to the family of the 18-year-old who died at the scene of last Friday’s crash at Dalmagarry, south of Inverness.
Dualling was supposed to start there last year. However the Scottish Government says the tendered offer was rejected, because it wasn’t considered value for money
Nor is it likely to provide much hope to the communities here in highland Perthshire, whose residents take their lives in their hands every time they venture on to the A9.
Thirteen people died on the A9 between Perth and Inverness last year. It was the highest number in a single year since 2001.
Meanwhile, the only two completed sections of the dualling project – Luncarty to Pass of Birnam in Perthshire and Kincraig to Dalraddy near Aviemore – amount to a pitiful 10-and-a-half miles of progress.
Can anger translate to action?
Former SNP minister Fergus Ewing spoke about “real anger” week when he demanded a detailed timetable for the scheme.
He is right. And it is growing.
The anger is there in local communities, where residents are sick of being fobbed off and now tell us they fear the work will never happen.
It’s here with this newspaper, which has had more than enough of vanishing targets and meaningless platitudes.
And if it is not there in the minds of those who have the power to actually bring some urgency to this stalled project, perhaps it’s time they stepped aside to make room for those who will.