The A96 is the trunk road linking the cities of Inverness and Aberdeen, beginning at Raigmore Interchange east of Inverness and ending at the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) Craibstone Junction. The A96 connects several communities along the corridor including Nairn, Forres, Elgin, Fochabers, Keith, Huntly, Inverurie and Kintore.
In August 2021, the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Parliamentary Group agreed a Cooperation Agreement and a shared policy programme.
As part of this shared policy programme, various agreed principles regarding investment in the transport network were set out. In relation to the A96, the Scottish Government committed to take forward a transport enhancements programme on the A96 corridor that will improve connectivity between surrounding towns, tackle congestion and address safety and environmental issues. This will include:
- dualling from Inverness to Nairn
- bypassing of Nairn, Keith, Elgin and Inverurie accompanied by measures to remove through traffic from the by-passed town centres
- targeted road safety improvements where needed, for example between Fochabers and Huntly and Inverurie to Aberdeen
- the development of an A96 “Electric Highway”
Other commitments given in relation to the North East of Scotland included developing a programme of enhanced public transport improvements which include:
- work to improve the resilience, reliability and efficiency of the Aberdeen to Inverness rail corridor, alongside our commitment to decarbonise the rail network, to make it more competitive to road and encourage modal shift for both passengers and freight
- working with Nestrans, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils on the feasibility of a mass rapid transit system for the region, and also a rail link between Dyce and Ellon and further north to Peterhead and Fraserburgh
- reviewing the A96 corridor with a view to implementing appropriate bus priority measures
The Cooperation Agreement noted the current plan is to fully dual the A96 route between Inverness and Aberdeen. The Cooperation Agreement also confirmed there would be a transparent, evidence-based review to include a climate compatibility assessment to assess direct and indirect impacts on the climate and the environment.
The A96 Corridor Review covers the transport corridor from Raigmore Interchange at Inverness to Craibstone Junction at Aberdeen. The review findings will be used to test our current plans for dualling outwith the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme, which runs from Inverness to Hardmuir and already has Ministerial consent.
The review is taking into account the higher reliance of car use in rural areas of the corridor when compared with urban centres. Reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2045 is a key part of the Scottish Government’s policy to address the global climate emergency along with its policies to encourage the use of low emission vehicles in travel options.
The A96 Corridor Review is being undertaken in accordance with the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and brings the A96 Corridor Review in line with the methodology used in the recently published second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).
The A96 Corridor Review is being carried out by design consultants Jacobs AECOM acting on behalf of Transport Scotland. Jacobs AECOM currently support Transport Scotland undertaking STPR2. The review is considering transport problems, such as road safety, and opportunities, such as encouraging the uptake of low emission vehicles within the A96 corridor. It is also looking at the changing policy context and other key considerations, such as development and growth aims for the corridor and surrounding area. It is also considering the impact of the global climate emergency and the Covid-19 pandemic on how people work and travel within the corridor.
A96 Corridor Review Story Map
Public engagement is extremely important to us – it’s a vital part of our works as we progress through the review. The purpose of our Story Map is to keep you informed with the progress of the A96 Corridor Review and allow you to feed-in to the review by completing consultation surveys. This Story Map will provide you with an overview of key details of the A96 Corridor Review, what it is looking at, and how you can input into the review.
For the best experience we recommend viewing this interactive Story Map using a desktop/laptop. Although the Story Map is compatible on handheld devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, some of the maps may not work as expected and images may be altered or cropped.
Our Story Map is also compatible with most web-browsers available - however if you do experience any issues we recommend using Google Chrome for best results.