Improvements to A9 hairpin could start in 2018

image copyrightTransport Scotland
image captionThe existing layout of the road

Construction of planned improvements to a challenging hairpin bend on the A9 at Berriedale Braes could begin next year, the Scottish government has said.

The trunk road drops from 150m (492ft) to 20m (65ft) as it enters a valley at the braes in Caithness.

There have been accusations from business leaders and politicians that the problem with this section of the A9 was being "ignored".

Documents key to progressing the improvements have been published.

image copyrightTransport Scotland
image captionAn illustration of the proposed new layout

The documents, called made orders, are part of the process towards eventually appointing a contractor and then starting work in 2018, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has said.

He added: "The Scottish government has been working to progress the much-needed improvements to the A9 at Berriedale Braes.

"The hairpin bend and steep hill at Berriedale Braes has presented drivers, in particular HGVs and other long vehicles, with a very challenging road to negotiate.

"Having got the go-ahead last December following the public local inquiry, we are now able to publish the made orders for the scheme as a clear signal of our commitment to deliver this scheme."

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