CAMPAIGNERS ARE FEARING that Moray will miss out on the advantages of dualling the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen – and face an environmental disaster if one of the more controversial routes is chosen.
The Forres A96 Dualling Action Group was formed last year when it was noted that one of the routes for the road through Moray could see it completely by-passing both Forres and Elgin.
One of the proposed routes for the new road would see traffic directed from the west of Forres through the Pluscarden Valley to Fochabers – an option that they say offered nothing but environmental damage and economic isolation.
A public meeting was held at the weekend in Rafford, where around 150 local people inspected maps detailing the route options being offered by Transport Scotland.
The Chairman of the group, Brian Higgs, has now appealed to Moray Council to be more proactive over the plans and make their views known.
Mr Higgs said: “We urge Moray Council to not just sit back and wait – what people in Moray need is a proactive approach from the council, local businesses and other interested parties to develop the right solution for the area.”
However, the local authority have said that it would be premature for them to offer any viewpoint on plans that are still being developed, a spokesman saying: “Only high level route strategies have been prepared by Transport Scotland and much more work will be required before the council can begin to take any meaningful view.”
Monks at Pluscarden Abbey last year expressed their shock at the route proposals close to their historic site, insisting that if that was to be chosen it would have a catastrophic effect on the peace and tranquil nature of the area.