Today's Sunday Post column expanded.
It's become an annual ritual of summer. Another A9 accident with multiple fatalities. Last week a girl, her mum and a motorist in another car were killed in a head-on collision just south of Ralia, near Newtonmore -- exactly the same place two Glasgow decorators died in a head-on smash last June. Even though Ralia was one of nine places included in a selective £50 million safety upgrade. Patch and mend repairs may look sensible while plans to dual the whole A9 are prepared. But it's fiddling while Rome burns. Repeat accidents suggest that fixing blackspots doesn't fix the overall problem. Scotland's longest trunk road switches constantly between dual and single-carriageway and that causes confusion, fatigue, and frustration. You can drive as safely as you like but if a foreign tourist is momentarily uncertain about the right side of the road, or a driver misjudges overtaking an HGV compelled to crawl at 40 mph, or tiredness lets a car career across the central white line – the safest driver is suddenly vulnerable. There have been more than 90 fatalities and 1,000 accidents in the last six years — that's one accident every other day. And yet the government's dualling programme is still "in planning." Why wait to get cracking? Is the recession to blame, has all the available cash and manpower gone to the replacement Forth Road Bridge crossing or is the A9 considered too quiet to justify greater urgency?