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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid)

Meeting date: Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Point of Order

Fergus Ewing (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I have given notice of this point, on which I seek your guidance. On 8 September in the chamber, I asked the First Minister whether, in the light of loss of life in road incidents over the summer, the Scottish Government will bring forward detailed revised timetables and detailed proposals for delivery of its 13-year-old pledges regarding dualling the A9 and the A96. She provided the welcome assurance that safety is “paramount”.

It is with great sadness that I report that a further two people have lost their lives in two separate incidents on the A9, both last Friday. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families.

Presiding Officer, I ask for your guidance on how I can secure the objective of the Scottish Government proposing an oral ministerial statement to the Parliament setting out its revised plans, not least because the current target for dualling the A9 remains 2025. That is plainly impossible and requires updating.

As the First Minister also said, “procurement is ... complex”, but that need not prevent the publication of such plans—after all, it did not prevent the 2025 target from being fixed in the first place. What procedure or process is available to me as a back bencher of the party in government to represent my constituents on this vitally important matter?

The Presiding Officer (Alison Johnstone)

Thank you, Mr Ewing. Whether to propose making a ministerial statement is a matter for the Scottish Government, rather than a point of order for me to rule on. However, your comments are now on the record. As you noted, you raised the matter at First Minister’s question time on 8 September, and you can use all of the various mechanisms of scrutiny that are available to all members to continue to raise those concerns.