Brown rallying cry on A96 road plans
Transport Minister Keith Brown previewed a programme of exhibitions in the north of Scotland today which will give local communities the opportunity to comment on the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen.
The public will also be able to see the route options under consideration for the section of the A96 between Inverness to Nairn and related work on a Nairn Bypass.
The Transport Minister was in Nairn ahead of the doors opening to the public tomorrow (12 November) of the first of nine events in a whistle-stop tour in towns across the north of Scotland, with a plea that the public get on board the decision-making process to dual the road at this early stage of design work.
Mr Brown said:
“There are nearly 100 miles of trunk road between Inverness and Aberdeen yet just over 11 miles are currently dual carriageway. The A96 dualling programme will therefore involve the construction of over 88 miles of new dual carriageway, Like the challenges of the A9, the benefits of the A96 improvements will be felt right across Scotland with reduced journey times and improved journey time reliability and safety.
“Early engineering and environmental assessments are already underway and traffic surveys have already been carried out along the route to improve the understanding of traffic volumes and patterns. In addition, aerial surveys of the route between Scotland’s two northernmost cities are currently on site, helping produce computer ground models of the A96.
“Plans will also be on display showing the eight route options under consideration for the section of the A96 between Inverness and Nairn and the nine route options under consideration for a Nairn Bypass. It is important people have their say on these options so that we can take account of vital feedback during the assessment process. It is our intention to announce a preferred option for this section of the A96, including a Nairn Bypass, in 2014.
"I would ask everyone, from Forres to Fochabers, Inverurie to Inverness, who has an interest in improving the road, to come and see for themselves the design proposals being put forward and to take the opportunity to help form the A96 dualling programme.”
Commenting on the wider A96 dualling programme, the Minister said:
“In addition to Nairn, the A96 bisects a number of other communities, and we recognise there will be a requirement for bypasses around Forres, Elgin, Keith and Inverurie. Once the preliminary engineering and environmental assessment work is completed in about 12-18 months’ time, detailed route options will be progressed and preferred routes for these bypasses identified as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing those plans then.
“I’m also aware that the Elgin Western Link Road proposed by Moray Council is to provide local access within Elgin. The intended purpose of the A96 dualling programme is unrelated to local authority proposals to improve the local road network in the town.”
A series of roadshows are planned to run from 12 November until the end of the month. Details are:
Tuesday 12th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- Golf View Hotel, The Seafront, 63 Seabank Road, Nairn, IV12 4HD
Wednesday 13th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- Inverness Town House, High Street, Inverness, IV1 1JJ
Friday 15th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- Ramnee Hotel, Victoria Road, Forres, Moray, IV36 3BN
Tuesday 19th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- Longmore Hall, Banff Road, Keith, AB55 5HA
Wednesday 20th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- New Elgin & Ashgrove Public Hall, Land Street, Elgin, IV30 6BL
Thursday 21st November, 12 noon – 7pm
- The Gordon Arms Hotel, The Square, Huntly, AB54 8AF
Wednesday 27th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- Dyce Parish Church Hall, Victoria Street, Dyce, Aberdeen, AB21 7BE
Thursday 28th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- The Acorn Centre, West High Street, Inverurie, AB51 3SA
Friday 29th November, 12 noon – 7pm
- The Fochabers Public Institute, 15 High Street, Fochabers, IV32 7EP
Copies of the exhibition material are available at http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/a96dualling
Anyone wishing to comment should respond by 31 January 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org