Bypass claims "laughable"
06 January 2009
Labour MSP Peter Peacock has described recent SNP claims that funding the Inverness TLR would be `easy' as "laughable".
"It is simply laughable that a week after formally ruling out paying for the Trunk Link Route the SNP are saying - actually it would be easy to pay for it! If it were easy why was it not in the plans announced and which took 18 months to draw up?
"No one in the Highlands should be fooled by this or be in any doubt, SNP Ministers' decision not to fund any of the route between the A9 and the A82 was entirely calculated and deliberate.
"They are desperate to avoid accepting any responsibility for the bit between the A9 and the A82 as they know it is the most expensive bit, but more importantly, at the moment it is classed as a local road and is the Council's responsibility and they don't want to concede taking responsibility for it.
"If they were to fund any part of it their friends in the central belt would be asking them why they are funding a road they are not responsible for, when not funding other roads in their areas that they are responsible for.
"By only funding they bit between the A9 and the A96 they have a stand alone project which saves taking any responsibility for the expensive and crucial bit between the A9 and A82 .
"They create a very short new bit of Trunk Road which could have been done at any time without any connection to the TLR, and that is exactly what they have done.
"The SNP are now desperately trying to face both ways on this issue having been caught out so badly by their damaging decision not to plan or pay for the Trunk Link Route, despite all that was said before the election.
"No one should be fooled or taken in by talk of constructive engagement with the Council, what is needed is a commitment to adopt the line of the TLR as the new Trunk Road from the A82 to the A9 and to sign an appropriate cheque.
"The SNP had the chance to do that two weeks ago and singularly failed."
Peter Peacock also revealed he and colleagues will be tabling a series of parliamentary questions in the new year to reveal the reasons for the decision the SNP government made over the TLR.
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