Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed the opening of a rail freight terminal in Inverness which will serve Tesco stores in the Highlands.
Mr Gibson said the move is a step in the right direction, but said that potentially more could be done in future to utilize freight rail in the North and West.
"This is a welcome news which will take and estimated 13,000 lorries off the A9. Anything that will lessen the pressure on the road is a positive move."
"However I hope that this does not signal an end to the use of freight on the railways North of Inverness. This service could be expanded to the stores in Caithness. The Georgemas junction used to handle goods from Safeways I hope in future that it could again handle goods from other supermarkets.
"This would have the added benefit of upping the usage of the Far North line whilst further decreasing the amount of lorries on the A9 north of Inverness."
Copy of photo
A Tesco Lorries rounds a bend on the A9 at the Ord of Caithness