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The A9 at Crubenmore

Direct action is being planned over a decision by Transport Scotland not to provide a safe crossing point for riders, cyclists and walkers on an upgraded stretch of the A9.

Ruaridh Ormiston, a local riding stables owner, says he will block traffic by riding a horse and carriage up and down the road in order to draw further attention to the issue.

He is the prime mover behind the campaign to install an underpass at Crubenmore where the main road up the east side of the Scottish Highlands is being made dual carriageway in a £10.4m upgrade scheme.

The issue is of particular concern to him as the installation of an unbroken central barrier at a traditional crossing point means he will no longer be able to access General Wade's Military Road to the east of the A9.

The A9 is one of the most dangerous roads in Britain and upgrading it to dual carriageway should make it safer, but campaigners say those safety gains for motorists will be made at the expense of other users if a relatively inexpensive underpass is not installed during the current construction phase.

"I'm quite happy to ride up and down here with horses every day of the week and bring the A9 to a standstill," said Ruaridh Ormiston "If that's what we have to do to get people's attention, we'll do it. For the sake of a few thousand pounds to put a pipe [underpass] under the road, they are going to put all non-vehicular users at risk."

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