Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Dual Is No Jewel

The opening of another wee bittie of dual carriageway on the A9 seems to be getting politicians flustered.

Meanwhile others are beeping their horn for state support for rural petrol stations.

At what point will any of these guys (and gals) start lobbying for long-term sustainable transport improvements? The cheap oil's running out so we need to see better rail and bus services pronto rather than seeing their funding cut. And in the parts of the Highlands not served by rail why aren't we seeing investment in alternative fuels or electric car charging points?

Everybody seems to have voted SNP twice at the election so I presume Highlanders are in favour of another Forth Bridge and an Aberdeen bypass.

But back to the A9. Here's a hilarious and heated conversation I had the other day. It reminded me why it ain't easy being green...

Me: I wish SNP politicians would stop banging on about dualling the A9. It's pointless.

Gas Guzzling Colleague: But what about all the congestion?

Me: The congestion you cause by being part of it?

GGC: But you get stuck behind slow vehicles.

Me: Didn't you tell me you got caught speeding recently? How fast were you doing?

GGC: 81. It wasn't that bad. The limit's 70.

Me: Not on dual carriageway. It's 60. Motorways are 70.

GGC: Oh. But 60 really means 70, doesn't it?

Me: The real investment if any is made in roads should be getting the A96 out of the middle of Nairn.

GGC: It doesn't go through the middle of Nairn. It skirts round it.

Me: Um. I beg to differ. As would the mums and toddlers crossing the thundering trunk road that separates them from the community centre.

GGC: But they (the government) have got to do the A9.

Me: So, let me get this straight. You'd rather the government spent gazillions of our hard to find pounds on dualling a very straight road on which you already break the speed limit while continuing to allow little children to dice with death and pollution on in the middle of a tourist town. Interesting.

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