Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does dualling involve?

A9 Dualling will upgrade single carriageway sections of the road between Perth and Inverness to dual carriageway, which allows for two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions, separated by a central reservation and a physical barrier.  The work involves widening of existing sections at some locations and construction of entirely new dual carriageway at other locations.  Further details of the delivery plan for A9 Dualling can be found here.

2. What is A9 Dualling?

A9 Dualling is a major infrastructure programme which will upgrade around 83 miles (133km kilometres) of road from single to dual carriageway. A9 Dualling is designed to improve the A9 between Perth and Inverness through improved safety, reduced and more reliable journey times, improved pedestrian and cycling opportunities and better links to public transport facilities.

Road users are already benefiting from the dualled sections between Kincraig and Dalraddy and Luncarty and the Pass of Birnam, which opened in September 2017 and August 2021 respectively.

Further details of A9 Dualling can be found here

3. What are the benefits of A9 Dualling?

Benefits of A9 Dualling include:

  • Reduced journey times and improved journey time reliability, as well as providing resilience by limiting the need for lengthy diversions. Journey times between Perth and Inverness are forecast to reduce by 26 minutes (20%).
  • Improved safety, with three less fatality casualties and eight less serious injury casualties forecast annually, together with reductions in driver stress and journey times for emergency vehicles.
  • Improved active travel through better non-motorised user routes, provision of dedicated grade-separated crossings of the A9 and enhanced lay-bys for accessibility to the surrounding countryside.
  • Facilitation of improved public transport integration through reduced journey time, provision of safer access to communities and railway stations, replacement of bus stops on the A9 and the provision of new bus turning facilities.
4. What will it cost?

A9 Dualling will cost £3.7bn at April 2023 prices. When adjusted for inflation, that is equivalent to £2.45bn at April 2008 prices, which is well within the original cost estimate of £3bn at 2008 prices.

5. What is the delivery plan?

Details of the delivery plan for A9 Dualling are available on the Delivery Plan page.

6. How long will it take?

The delivery plan for A9 Dualling is expected to provide continuous dual carriageway between Perth and Inverness by the end of 2035.

Under the delivery plan projects will be completed in a progressive manner, meaning that an increasing proportion of the A9 between Perth and Inverness will have operational dual carriageway as time progresses.  It is expected that almost half of the corridor will be operational as dual carriageway by the end of 2030, rising to 85% by the end of 2033 and 100% by the end of 2035. 

7. What are Design & Build and MIM contracts?

Under a Design and Build (D&B) contract the appointed contractor is responsible for preparation of the detailed design of the project and then constructing the works in accordance with that design.  Payment on a D&B contract is made based on progress achieved against a payment schedule agreed through the procurement process.  Most of the major roads projects in Scotland over the last 20 years have been constructed using a D&B contract.  Transport Scotland has recently adopted the New Engineering Contract, with amendments, as the basis of its future D&B contracts. The New Engineering Contract is preferred by the industry and is widely used across the UK. 

A Mutual Investment Model contract, known as MIM, is a type of public-private partnership contract.  The appointed contractor is responsible for raising the private finance necessary to fund detailed design and construction of the works.  The contractor then employs a ‘New Works’ contractor to design and construct the project. The contractor also employs an ‘Operation and Maintenance’ contractor to operate and maintain the completed works for a period of time, typically around 30 years after completion of construction works. Payment on a MIM contract is made on a monthly basis once the road is in operational use and deductions to payments accrue if the road is not maintained in an available condition and in accordance with the specification throughout the operation and maintenance period. 

The MIM form of contract was originally developed by the Welsh Government. In 2019 Scottish Ministers endorsed Scottish Futures Trust’s recommendation that MIM be used as the basis for future revenue funded projects in Scotland.  Although MIM contracts have not previously been used in Scotland, they are similar in many respects to the Non-Profit Distributing contract used for a number of major roads projects in Scotland, including the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements and Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty. 

8. How have you come up with the delivery programme?

The delivery plan has been developed to enable completion of the remaining A9 Dualling projects in a manner which foregrounded certainty of delivery but also carefully balanced this with market capacity, affordability and the need to minimise disruption on the network.

9. How will you minimise disruption during the rolling programme of work?

Sequencing of the procurements has been developed to limit the maximum lengths of the A9 subject to continuous traffic management during construction and to provide a minimum distance between concurrent works areas.  Within the Mutual Investment Model contracts we will include requirements on phasing of the works which meets these criteria.  In addition, overall levels of disruption are managed by limiting the extent of concurrent work that can be taken across the corridor as a whole.

Our contracts will also require contractors to plan construction vehicle movements and operations sensitively, minimising use of the A9 where possible to avoid disruption to A9 road users. Contractors will also be required to keep one lane of traffic open in each direction during construction, except for specific safety related reasons for operations such as installing bridge beams over the A9.

10. How will you keep people informed?

Comprehensive stakeholder engagement is at the heart of how A9 Dualling is delivered. Regular engagement will continue as the programme progresses, including, of course, with local communities on individual projects.

This website will be a key digital tool for disseminating information and engaging with those interested in the Programme, and we will be holding regular informative events along the corridor and delivering a quarterly newsletter.

To stay up to date with latest news, newsletters and events, we encourage you to register for updates on the website.

11. Will you open sections as they're completed?

The rolling programme of construction will mean that projects will be brought into operational use as they are completed. Under this delivery plan it is expected that almost half of the corridor will be operational as dual carriageway by the end of 2030, rising to 85% by the end of 2033 and 100% by the end of 2035.  

It is expected that from the commencement of construction for the Tomatin to Moy project, which is currently in procurement, there will be continuous construction activity until the final section of the road to be dualled becomes operational. This means all those who travel on the A9 will see benefits from A9 Dualling years ahead of the final project becoming operational.

Contractors will be incentivised to bring dualled lengths of the road into operation on a phased basis where possible once works on those phases are complete , even if work on other phases of their contract are ongoing.

12. Why is traffic management necessary during construction

Traffic management is required to provide sufficient physical separation between road users and road works engaged in construction of the works to ensure the safety of road users and road workers.

Speed restrictions during construction are required to ensure the safety of road users and road workers while works are ongoing. Reduced speed limits also encourage smoother traffic flow through the works area which assists with reducing disruption to road users.

13. Who can I contact if I have a query

You can contact us via the website contact form.

14. Where do I find out more about how A9 Dualling was developed?

Details of the design and planning stages for each individual project, including statutory documents can be viewed on the Transport Scotland website