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The Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor David Green, has welcomed news that the first phase of improvements to the A 9 between Helmsdale and the Ord of Caithness, is likely to go ahead in the spring of next year.


Councillor Green said: "This is very good news indeed. Improvements to the A 9 between Helmsdale and the Ord of Caithness are long overdue and I am delighted that the first phase is scheduled to commence at this time next year. My hope is that the Scottish Executive will make funding available for a continuous programme of works to complete the various phases of the improvements."

Councillor John Rosie, Convener of the Caithness Area Committee of The Highland Council, said that faster and safer communication was a key factor in helping boost the economy of both Sutherland and Caithness.


He recently led a delegation to the Scottish Parliament to promote the need for early progress on improvements to the A 9 north of Helmsdale.

He said: "I am very pleased that our representations have paid dividends with this announcement. It is long awaited and much needed to make travel safer and to promote our local economy."

The Councillors were responding to an announcement by Lewis MacDonald, Deputy Transport Minister, that work will begin in the spring of 2003 on ugrading 2km of the existing route at a cost of 3.75 million.  The new improvements will tie into the Ord Burn Scheme completed in 1999.

We do not yet know which part will be tackled first but one thing is for sure.....they might improve the road but they can't improve the fantastic views and coastal scenery that's  been there for thousands of years.  The east coast road to Wick is another of the empty places of the Highlands and check your maps as little of the castles and archaeology is signposted....this is the Highlands and everyone knows where everything is supposed to be.  Just ask around and you will find more than you thought possible almost anywhere in the north.  Drive across Sutherland  - Europe's Last Wilderness to see single track roads and then round the spectacular Caithness Sutherland coast completely different East to West and round every bend.