Humza Yousaf has said the Scottish Government is committed to funding a permanent solution to the long-running problems on the A83 at the Rest And Be Thankful mountain pass.
He and other ministers faced a series of “challenging” questions from members of the public at the first “travelling Cabinet” event since the pandemic in Inverary, Argyll and Bute.
Meeting at Inverary Parish Church, the Cabinet members were quizzed on a number of issues.
Mention of the A83, which has long been plagued by disruption caused by landslides, drew a groan from the audience at the start of the meeting.
In June, a £470 million plan to construct a mile-long road shelter was unveiled.
John Gurr, chairman of the Rest And Be Thankful campaign, questioned whether this would go ahead in light of the Scottish Government’s tight funding situation for infrastructure.
The First Minister said Argyll and Bute Council had also raised the issue, and there is “absolutely a firm commitment”.
He said: “Does the commitment mean a funding commitment? The answer to that is yes.
“There’s no point making a commitment without the money. The money’s got to be there.”
Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan said the Government’s priority was “a permanent solution as soon as possible and reassurance on safety in the meantime”.
In the very first question of the session, an independence supporter accused the ministers of focusing on “identity politics”, saying “what the hell are you doing guys, where’s independence? You’ve sold us out”.
John Campbell, owner of a bed and breakfast, said he was an SNP member but urged the Government to “have a rethink” on its new licensing scheme for short-term lets.
Mr Yousaf said “very challenging questions” like these were the purpose of the travelling Cabinet.
Addressing the first question, he said: “I’ve always believed that in order to advance my rights, I have to advance your rights.
“Whether it’s as a woman, whether it’s as somebody who’s from the trans community, whether it’s somebody who’s from the LGBT community, whether it’s somebody that has a disability.
“I believe that we’ve got to try to do what we can to advance their rights without impinging on the rights of others.”
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the short-term let regulations were about ensuring safety.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said there would be a review of the measures to examine if they had met their goals.
Published: by Radio NewsHub