Council urged to be more proactive on A96 road plans

Fears that Moray will lose out on advantages of A96 dualling
Fears that Moray will lose out on advantages of A96 dualling

A MAJOR CONSULTATION should be organised in Moray to study the alternative plans being put forward by Transport Scotland for dualling the A96.

That is the view of a lobby group formed in Forres that claims some of the routes being considered through Moray would “ravage the local economy”.

Now there is support for closer public scrutiny being acted upon within the council, where Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross is pressing for full local consultation in addition to the events being organised by Transport Scotland.

“People have great concerns about the lack of action from Moray Council in terms of responding to the plans,” Councillor Ross told a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday, adding: “We need to ask communities their views as there is a much greater range of issues that we can consult on and I would wish to see a proactive approach.

“There is concern that the council will just go along with Transport Scotland’s wishes rather than make an attempt to influence any decisions.”

However, Moray’s director of economic development insisted that it would not be “cost-effective” for the council to consult on route plans for the A96 dualling project.

Rhona Gunn said: “It would be premature to advocate any particular road plan at this stage as we would not be able to supply Transport Scotland with more information than they have.”

The Forres group A96 Dualling Action were formed amid concerns that of the two routes currently being promoted by Transport Scotland one completely by-passes both Forres and Elgin, which they say would be severely damaging to both the community and the environment.