ASH was appointed to examine the environmental issues related to improvement options for the A9 at Helmsdale and assimilate the road into its setting

The A9 at Helmsdale is located on the most northerly section of the A9 London / Edinburgh / Thurso route. It lies approximately 105km north of Inverness and 70km south of Thurso. The route is of high strategic importance in that it provides a vital link from the most northerly parts of Scotland and the Shetland and Orkney Islands to the rest of the Scottish Mainland.

ASH was appointed by Scott Wilson Kilpatrick & Partners (Now URS Scott Wilson) to examine the environmental issues related to alternative improvement options.

Key Tasks

Route options appraisal

Landscape and visual impact assessment

Landscape mitigation design

Stakeholder consultation

Public consultation

Environmental monitoring during construction

Monitoring of landscape contracts

What we did

ASH, carried out a review of the possible phasing of improvements and assisted in the public exhibition and consultation process. 

The preferred route was detailed in the Phase 2 Environmental Statement which was published in 2004 and is a development of the line which had overwhelming public support during the public consultation process.

Apart from the environmental assessment work, ASH also prepared detailed landscape mitigation schemes for both phases. These include innovative proposals for cut slope stabilisation and snow shelter planting. These landscape works are now complete and having supervised the landscape maintenance, the scheme was finally handed over in July 2011.


Find out more

We’re always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out more about the services we can offer for your project, you can email us on or call 0141 227 3388.