Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser and Blairgowrie and Glens Councillors Caroline Shiers and Bob Brawn have raised concerns over the use of the A924 road to divert southbound traffic when the A9 is closed.
A number of recent A9 closures have resulted in the A924 between Pitlochry and Blairgowrie being used to divert motorists and heavy goods vehicles.
Following closure on the 25th of August, vehicles were diverted through the A924 but congestion resulted in visitors to the Strathardle Highland Gathering being delayed.
Murdo is calling on Police Scotland to hear local concerns over this issue whilst also considering restricting the route to smaller vehicles, not HGVs and coaches, during A9 closures.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“The A924 is a small, narrow road that is unsuitable for the type of traffic that used it last weekend.
“A9 road closures are often unforeseen but it is important for the Police to be aware of possible public safety issues associated with using the A924 as a diversion.
“Unfortunately, traffic last weekend resulted in gridlock on the A924 with visitors to the nearby Strathardle Highland Games being held-up in travelling to the event.
“What we want is Police Scotland to take a serious look at this issue with a view to putting forward sensible traffic management plans when the A924 is used to divert southbound traffic on the A9.”
Blairgowrie and Glens Councillor, Caroline Shiers said;
"This is not the first time this issue has been raised. I would like to thank those along the A924 who helped motorists on Saturday by providing access to toilets, advise on journey times and especially the Strathardle Games volunteers who I hear coped well in directing the traffic through Kirkmichael.
“I would welcome discussions with Police Scotland regarding how traffic rerouting through Strathardle is managed. The route is very narrow in parts so if there are coaches or HGVs rerouted this causes inevitable problems where they meet on narrow sections which we need to have a plan for.”
Blairgowrie and Glens Councillor, Bob Brawn said;
“Last Saturday an accident on the A9 resulted in traffic being diverted on to the A924, resulting in cars, lorries and coaches being forced to navigate this narrow road through Kirkmichael which by chance was hosting the annual Strathardle Gathering. Consequently, the village became gridlocked and it was only by the intervention of some local residents that traffic kept moving.
“This diversion is regularly used by police whenever there is an accident on the A9 and should be for cars only. Given that they would have been alerted to the Gathering, this situation should never have been allowed to happen.”