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 by 2030, 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.
Transport Scotland have now concluded the development and assessment of the Preferred Option with the draft Orders and Environmental Statement published on 29 November 2016. The draft Orders define the line of the proposed new road and side roads, and the Environmental Statement outlines the anticipated effects of the scheme, both positive and negative, on the environment. The Statutory Consultation Period closed on 31 January 2017 and Transport Scotland is now considering the representations received.