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North MSP welcomes HGV 50mph for A9

5th December 2013

Local MSP and long time road safety campaigner, David Stewart MSP, who jointly launched the HGV 50mph campaign in December 2012, has welcomed the decision by the Transport Minister, Keith Brown to pilot a 50mph speed limit on the A9 for HGVs.

Speaking today he said Back in December 2012, Conor Mckenna came to see me on behalf of local HGV drivers and raised his concerns about the speed limit of HGVs on the A9.

This was something that I and my team were looking at in any case, as I firmly believe that slow speed and frustration are also contributory factors in many road collisions and I was acutely aware that slow moving vehicles cause a build up of traffic and then frustration kicks in. Of course we all know that fast speed also is a key factor in many road collisions I am not disputing that at all.

He continued On December 3, 2012, at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, we officially launched our joint campaign and since then local HGV drivers, led by Conor Mckenna, myself and my team, undertook a consistent and managed campaign. I lodged a number of Parliamentary Questions on this issue. I met with the Transport Minister, the local police back then when it was Northern Constabulary and I also met with the Head of Roads Policing from Police Scotland, Superintendent Ian Murray. As the months passed more and more support was secured with the Inverness Courier, business organisations and individuals all coming on board.

David Stewart continued It is only right that I thank the Transport Minister for listening to our appeals and piloting this increase in speed limit for HGVs on the A9. However, I also thank Conor McKenna, the local HGV drivers, the Inverness Courier for their campaign and all the local businesses and individuals. There is no doubt that our joint efforts over the last 12 months have paid off. We should also remember what I have said throughout and that is that the speed limit was set back in the 1960s and the construction and safety features of HGVs was a far cry then from what they are now. HGV drivers are also trained to a higher standard than normal drivers so all these factors have to be remembered. When all said an done, I would hope that common sense prevails and when HGV drivers still see a build up of traffic behind them on any road, they pull over and let faster vehicles pass.

Conor Mckenna said I am delighted for all concerned and all those who want to improve road safety on the A9 and my fellow HGV drivers who are aware that travelling at 40mph on the A9 was causing tailbacks and frustration. We can and do try and pull over, but we have to get from A to B within a set timescale and have to balance all these factors out. I thank the Transport Minister for eventually listening to us all

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