Furious business owners bid to halt major road improvements

Improvements are under way in Aberlour

FURIOUS BUSINESS OWNERS in a Moray village currently undergoing major road repairs have called on the help of their local MSP to intervene and help halt the disruption.

Road agency BEAR Scotland staged a consultation exercise with Aberlour residents at the start of May demonstrating the work that was about to begin on long-awaited road improvements through their community.

Around £2million is being spent on the A95 through the village, years of wear and tear on the main artery linking Moray with the south and the need to address historic flooding issues cited as the main reasons for the essential work being carried out.

However, it was only when the work got under way from May 18 that local businesses began to appreciate the extent of the disruption – with many questioning why the work was being carried out at the start of the busy tourist season.

Local business owner Ronnie Noble insists that the majority of businesses in the area were “shocked and dismayed” that the works were going on, insisting that they were not consulted enough.

Currently the first phases of the works are under way and Mr Noble says these are not causing too much of an issue – however, they are asking BEAR Scotland to postpone the later stages of the works “at least until October”.

Now Richard Lochhead MSP has written to BEAR Scotland on their behalf, the MSP saying: “I am in contact with members of the business community in Aberlour, and am very much aware of the local concerns over the timing of the works.

“While the road improvements are important and necessary, it is vital that the views of the local community are given proper consideration.”

A spokesman for BEAR Scotland, who are carrying out the work on behalf of Transport Scotland, insisted that throughout the process the company had done all possible to discuss issues with the community.

They would not, however, give any indication that the schedule for the improvement works would be moved, a spokeswoman saying: “On-site representatives continue to liaise with local residents and businesses with a view to providing any further mitigation measures and help minimise disruption.”