A96 Inverness to Nairn including Nairn Bypass


The Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), published by Transport Scotland in 2008, set out the Scottish Government’s transport investment priorities over the coming decades.

Specific trunk road interventions emerging from the review included upgrading the A96 between Inverness and Nairn to dual carriageway and also a bypass at Nairn.

The intention to fully dual the A96 was thereafter announced in December 2011, when Scottish Ministers published their Infrastructure Investment Plan, which contained the commitment to dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen, thus completing the dual carriageway network between all Scottish cities.

Route Options for the scheme were presented to members of the public in November 2013 and, following conclusion of the route options assessment process including consideration of vital feedback, the Preferred Option was announced in October 2014.

Following the development and assessment of the Preferred Option, draft Orders and the Environmental Statement were published on 29 November 2016. The draft Orders defined the line of the proposed new road and side roads, and the Environmental Statement outlined the anticipated effects of the scheme, both positive and negative, on the environment.

A number of representations were received to the draft Orders from landowners, members of the public and other stakeholders, and we worked to resolve objections where possible. A number of objections remained and therefore a Public Local Inquiry required to be held. 

The Public Local Inquiry into the scheme commenced on 30 October 2018 and concluded on 20 November 2018. Evidence was heard by Reporters appointed by the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division. Following detailed consideration of all objections made but not withdrawn, and all evidence heard at the Public Local Inquiry, the Reporters provided recommendations to the Scottish Ministers for their determination.

Following careful consideration of the objections received along with the reasoned conclusions and recommendations of the Reporters, the Scottish Ministers have decided that the Orders should be made with modifications as proposed by Transport Scotland.

Project benefits

The project upgrades the A96 between Inverness and Nairn (including the creation of a Nairn Bypass) and forms part of the wider strategy to upgrade the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen to dual carriageway.

The completed project will provide reduced journey times and improve journey time reliability, and will also improve the environmental conditions and reduce severance in Nairn.

Impact on travel

It is anticipated that road users will experience some delays during the construction period, but once complete, road users will experience reduced journey times, as well as improved journey time reliability and safety.

Environmental impact

The Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed scheme has been completed and reported in an Environmental Statement published on 29 November 2016.

Draft Orders Public Exhibitions

Information presented at Public Exhibitions

7-9 December 2016

An Artist’s Impression of the proposed Scheme has been developed and this is available in the following electronic visualisations:

Document library

Draft Orders and Environmental Statement

The draft Orders and an Environmental Statement for the proposed scheme were published on 29 November 2016. The Statutory Consultation Period closed on 31 January 2017 and Transport Scotland is now considering the representations received.

The A96 Trunk Road (Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass)) (Trunking & Detrunking) Order 201[ ]

The A96 Trunk Road (Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass)) (Side Roads) Order 201[ ]

The A96 Trunk Road (Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass)) (Extinguishment of Public Rights of Way) Order 201[ ]

The A96 Trunk Road (Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass)) Compulsory Purchase Order 201[ ]

Environmental Statement

Volume 1 – Main Report Volume 2 – Technical Appendices
Volume 3 – Figures

Public consultation

A number of public consultation events have been held on the scheme since February 2012. The material presented at these consultation events are available from the links below:

Preferred Option Design Update Drop In Sessions – February 2016

Meet the team - August 2015

Public Exhibitions – Preferred Option – October 2014

Route Option Refinements following November 2013 Exhibition

Public Exhibitions – Route Options – November 2013

Public Exhibitions – A96 Inshes to Nairn – February 2012

Documents and Reports

A number of reports have been published for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) Scheme. These are available to download in PDF format from the links below:

DMRB Stage 3 Report – Published December 2016

DMRB Stage 2 Report – Published October 2014

Volume 1 - Main Report and Appendices Volume 2 - Engineering Drawings
Volume 3 - Environmental Figures