A SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT minister has assured motorists and bus passengers making the daily trek from Moray to Inverness that A96 investigative work will cause ‘minimum disruption’.
Transport Scotland warned last week that investigation work that started on Monday would lead to some delays on the A96 between Nairn and Inverness.
However, last night Keith Brown, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the A96 dualling project, promised that the 20-week long work period will include just six of the 650 drilling locations that require traffic management to be put in place.
Mr Brown said: “We are committed to dualling the whole of the A96 which links the northern cities of Inverness and Aberdeen. The work on this road scheme is moving apace with draft orders expected to be published later this year.
“Having recently let locals and road users see proposed changes to the preferred option for this scheme, we are now stepping up the work with ground investigations taking place along the route to help inform the final design.
“The work is essential but we want to avoid impact on road users where we can, so I am pleased the vast majority, over 99%, of the ground investigation work will take place away from the A96, ensuring the need for traffic management is kept to an absolute minimum.”
The Cabinet Secretary added that hand in hand with the scheme plans for the 29-mile western section of the project, covering the road between Hardmuir and Fochabers, was being taken forward.
Four well respected engineering consultancies or joint ventures are in the running for the £50million design contract for the Moray section, which will include a by-pass of the route that currently passes through the centre of Elgin.
Mr Brown said: “With these plans for upgrading the route between Scotland’s two most northerly cities and our ambitious plans to dual the A9, we are working to connect Scotland’s cities, bringing safer and more reliable journeys for anyone travelling on these two major trunk roads.”