AN ex-Scottish Government minister has said there must be “no more excuses” over dualling the A9 following the death of a teenager.

Fergus Ewing, an outspoken critic of his own party’s governance in recent months, is now demanding a detailed timetable for improvements to the Perth to Inverness road.

The Inverness and Nairn MSP said his constituents’ “real anger” towards the delays had been exacerbated following the death of an 18-year-old last Friday.

The teenager died at the scene of a crash between a lorry and a car at Dalmagarry south of Inverness on May 26.

Dualling work for that stretch of road was expected to start last year but was delayed after the Scottish Government announced a tender offer was deemed not to represent value for money.

READ MORE: Believe in Scotland: Days of action, congress, and strategy meeting

Ewing was asked on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme if the lack of progress was costing lives.

The outspoken MSP, who most recently served as rural economy secretary until 2021, answered: “I’m afraid to say the answer to that is yes, and every life is a tragedy for their families.

“This could not be more serious.”

He will attempt to raise the issue at topical questions in Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon, where he will demand a “detailed plan” be set out with accurate dates.

He told the programme: “I do think the Scottish Government need to bring forward a detailed statement setting out when each section of the road will be dualled and by what time the project will be completed.

“I have asked for this for the last two years, but instead of making significant progress, we move backwards.”

He added: “I think people are fed up with excuses and I do hope that we wouldn’t hear any more of them.”

Ewing urged the Scottish Government to move away from tendering contracts and switch to framework contracts which will get the dualling completed quicker by using multiple companies.

In 2022, 13 people died on the A9 stretch between Peth and Inverness – the highest number in a single year since 2001.

Earlier this year, then transport minister Jenny Gilruth conceded the 2025 dualling deadline of 2025 was “simply unachievable” after the tendering offer submitted for the six-mile stretch between Tomatin and Moy was significantly higher than the anticipated £115 million cost.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: 'I must think long and hard about becoming a foster mum'

And Ewing accused the Green MSPs – who are in government with the SNP – of holding back progress on the A9 with their resistance to more road building.

He said: “I think there is growing concern that the green tail is wagging the yellow dog. And that is prevalent everywhere I go in my constituency.”

Transport minister Kevin Stewart said: “My sympathies are very much with the family and friends of the deceased at this time.

“As police investigations into this incident are ongoing it would be inappropriate for me to comment further – however, as part of standard policy, officials will meet with the police and our operating company to obtain more detailed information.

“On the A9 dualling programme more broadly, we remain firmly committed to completing the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

“The £3 billion investment (at 2008 prices) is one of the biggest transport infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and we have already invested over £430 million delivering the programme.

“I intend to provide an update on the wider dualling programme to Parliament this autumn.

“The necessary steps for the new procurement of the Tomatin to Moy project are currently being progressed by officials.

“They are engaging with The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and contractors, to consider improvements that can be made to both our contract delivery strategy and procurement mechanisms – in order to maximise interest and market engagement in the new procurement.”