Question S5W-25839: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party, answered 30/10/19
To ask the Scottish Government how much it will cost to dual the (a) A9 and (b) A96; when this will be completed, and what the benefit/cost ratio will be.
Michael Matheson: The Scottish Government intends to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness by 2025. Design work is progressing well with the statutory process underway for eight of the remaining nine schemes. We are currently on track to deliver the dualling programme within the £3bn estimate already identified. The A9 Dualling - Case for Investment, published in 2016, reports a benefit to cost ratio of 1.12.
In terms of the A96 Dualling, the Scottish Government intends to dual the A96 by 2030, subject to the satisfactory completion of the statutory process for each section. At this early stage of development it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of the cost of the dualling programme. However, it is estimated that the cost of dualling will be similar to that for dualling the A9 and be in the region of £3 billion. The published A96 Dualling Strategic Business Case reports a benefit to cost ratio in the range of 1.0 - 1.25.
As the design and preparation of both programmes proceed, a more detailed estimate for each section of the programmes will be developed.
Question S5W-26169: Gail Ross, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Scottish National Party, answered 18/11/19
To ask the Scottish Government how much each section of the A9 dualling work will cost.
Michael Matheson: To date, we have delivered the £35m contract between Kincraig and Dalraddy, which opened to traffic in September 2017, and have made good progress on the second section between Luncarty and Pass of Birnam at an estimated cost of £96m. Construction of this section is well underway, and subject to any unforeseen circumstances, such as exceptional adverse weather, it is expected to be open to traffic in spring 2021.
Design work is progressing well on the remaining sections, with the statutory process underway for eight of the remaining nine schemes. As the design and preparation of the A9 Dualling programme proceeds and the statutory procedures are completed, a more detailed estimate for each section of the programme will be finalised.
The Scottish Government intends to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness within the £3 billion estimate already identified.
Train Fares (Split Ticketing)
John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP):
To ask the Scottish Government what it can do to tackle the issue of split ticketing for train fares, whereby it can be cheaper to purchase tickets for component parts of a journey than for one straight-through ticket. (S5O-03843)
The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity (Michael Matheson): The ScotRail franchise prohibits the franchisee from implementing any train fare that creates an anomaly, whereby purchasing separate tickets might be cheaper than purchasing one straight-through ticket. Where anomalies are identified, ScotRail should reduce the affected fare at the next fares-setting round, thereby removing the anomaly.
The current franchise includes a price-promise scheme so that passengers do not have to pay a higher fare than is necessary.
Additionally, the Rail Delivery Group is conducting a review of ticketing systems across the UK, and aims to guarantee that the systems are focused on customer needs.
John Mason: I appreciate that work is being done. However, in reality, an off-peak day return from Garrowhill - my local station - to Perth, costs £29.90. An off-peak day return from Garrowhill to Glasgow Queen Street costs £3.30, and an off-peak day return from Queen Street to Perth costs £16.60, so the total cost is £19.90. That is a £10, or 50 per cent, difference in the fare. If a constituent buys a ticket at a machine, they cannot know about that, whereas if they buy a ticket at the ticket office, the ticket officer can tell them to split the ticket.
Michael Matheson: I recognise the concerns that John Mason has raised. Significant work has been undertaken since 2012 to eradicate anomalies. I understand that some of the anomalies date back as far as the 1990s because of various promotions and schemes that have operated over the years, which at times can come out through the existing system. I assure the member that I will ask my officials to raise with ScotRail the anomaly that he has mentioned, to ensure that it is eradicated from the system.