KilliecrAnkie1689 is a group that was established in January 2018 to campaign for a more sensitive road plan for the Killiecrankie battlefield than the scheme proposed by Transport Scotland. Two years later, we passed an important milestone after participating in a Public Local Inquiry that was held to examine Transport Scotland’s proposal.

There were 164 objections still unresolved at the time of the Inquiry. They focused on just 2 miles of road that bisects the Killiecrankie Battlefield. This small stretch forms part of a bigger section to upgrade the existing A9 trunk road from Killiecrankie to Glen Garry.

At the end of the Inquiry, the Reporter indicated that he hoped to give his recommendation to the Scottish Ministers during the summer. The Ministers then decide to accept or reject his report. That was the timetable before the coronavirus pandemic. Now that normal economic activity has stopped, it is unclear how the A9 investment plan, which received ministerial commitment back in 2011, will be affected.

The Inquiry exposed the central dispute at Killiecrankie. Our case was – and remains – that Transport Scotland’s plan has an unnecessarily adverse impact on the battlefield. We maintain that the proposed road will damage or destroy important features of the battlefield because the road will be built exactly where the two sides engaged in the Battle of Killiecrankie. The proposed road will cover the strip of land where the fighting was concentrated and most lives were lost.

Transport Scotland says the area of mortal combat is not special. Pre-inquiry it said that building on either side of the existing road would be equally damaging. By the start of the inquiry it had hardened its position. Now Transport Scotland says that building where the combatants clashed and fell would be less damaging than building on the alternative alignment where the Jacobites charged downhill before setting about the Government forces.

Perverse though it appears, Transport Scotland says that its analysis complies with the Inventory of Historic Battlefields, the list of Scotland’s most important battle sites. Killiecrankie was included in the original edition, created in 2011.

In our opinion, Transport Scotland considered parts of the Inventory but overlooked the whole. It has ignored the fundamental reason for creating the Inventory: to protect and enhance the historic character of our environment so that we understand who we are.

This is the first time that Scotland’s ambition and policy to protect important battlefields has been tested. Please help protect this internationally important heritage asset. Sign the petition. (See right margin.)