WORK to dual the A9 will not be completed before the next Holyrood election in May 2026, the First Minister has said.

Humza Yousaf insisted the Scottish Government is still “absolutely committed” to ensuring the road, which runs from Perth to Inverness in the Highlands, is converted to dual-carriageway.

He said delays to the project are “regrettable” with “understandable” frustration from road users that there is currently no end date for the project.

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Yousaf used his keynote Programme for Government speech on Tuesday to highlight his commitment to the project, with Transport Scotland also publishing the contract notice for the £150 million stretch of work between Tomatin and Moy.

Then transport minister Jenny Gilruth (below) told MSPs in February that the work on that stretch needed to be retendered, saying only one bid had been made for the work and it did not represent value for money.

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Transport Scotland now hopes to award a contract for the Tomatin to Moy stretch in early summer 2024, with the work expected to take around three years to complete.

Yousaf said the Government will update MSPs on the overall timescale for completing the dualling of the A9 “later this year”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: “I understand the disappointment around the delays in relation to the dualling of the A9, but we have spent over £400 million dualling the A9 from Inverness to Perth and I confirmed the latest section, the Tomatin to Moy section, getting approval.

“There should be no dubiety or no doubt about the fact that we are absolutely committed to dualling the A9.

“It won’t be done by 2026, we’ve made that clear, the original timetable around the dualling won’t be met.

“That’s regrettable, it’s understandable some of the frustration around that, but we have promised to come back to Parliament later this year to give an update on the timetable.”