North MSP asks vital questions on the North Coast 500 Route
26th September 2016
Highlands & Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, asked Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs at Portfolio Questions; what plans the Government had to develop tourism facilities on the North Coast 500 tourist route. Having confirmed that there was a multi agency group looking at this issue, Rhoda Grant went onto ask the Cabinet Secretary if the Government would help Highland Council fund essential maintenance and upgrades along this route to ensure it is a safe as possible and given much of it is single track road. The Cabinet Secretary advised that she would pass this question onto the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Islands, Humza Yousaf.
Rhoda Grant said "The success of this route (North Coast 500) is phenomenal and with this success comes the massive increase in tourism brought to the North Highlands. However, many parts of the route are just single carriageway and the road was never built to carry the volume of vehicles it now has to. Of course Highland Council will have to budget for improvements to infrastructure such as improvements to the roads, but with the current economic situation, I wonder if they can manage to maintain many parts of this route to a safe and appropriate standard, so that is why I asked the Cabinet Secretary if the Government was going to further support Highland Council."
"Of course I will have to wait until I now hear back from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport Humza Yousaf, but this is an issue I will be keeping a close eye on."
"I also sought reassurance that the associated tourism strategy would be monitored by the Government body HIE (Highlands & Islands Enterprise) and I was advised that this was indeed the case."