Financial compensation sought for troubled Aberlour businesses

Works will continue until March 2016
Works will continue until March 2016

FINANCIAL COMPENSATION SHOULD be paid to businesses in a Speyside community that have faced hardship from long delays to road improvements.

That is being sought for Aberlour from Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead, who has written to the Chief Executive of Scottish Water, Douglas Millican, seeking answers over if compensation can be offered.

Mr Lochhead has remained in close contact with Aberlour business owners who have suffered a severe loss of business throughout the summer due to potential customers being unable to reach their shops.

Delays on the works being undertaken on behalf of Transport Scotland were caused in part when a contractor discovered utility apparatus under the road that was not expected – and pipes that were not located where they were informed they would be in information supplied before the scheme got under way.

In his letter the MSP has urged Scottish Water to liaise with Transport Scotland and co-ordinate the best method of proceeding with requests for financial compensation from local business owners.

Mr Lochhead said: “I’ve been contacted by a number of small business owners in Aberlour about the affect the delays are having, with some telling me that they will struggle to pay staff wages or purchase new stock for the Christmas period.

“Small businesses within Aberlour face challenges at the best of times and unfortunately, through no fault of their own these delays are putting more pressure on the local economy and it is incredibly concerning to told by constituents that livelihoods and jobs may be at risk.

“It strikes me that mistakes have been made and I have written to the Chief Executive of Scottish Water reiterating the potential fallout of these delays, and urging him to liaise with Transport Scotland to coordinate how they can best help the community at this very challenging time.”

Work began in Aberlour in May and was due to end in August – however, the continued delays mean that they are not now scheduled to be completed until March.