Moray’s parliamentarians agree on importance of vital A96 dualling

Lochhead and Ross agree A96 dualling 'vital' for Moray
Lochhead and Ross agree A96 dualling ‘vital’ for Moray

MORAY’S MSP’S ARE in agreement over the importance of a dualled A96 to the future of the region – with both underlining its importance to insideMoray in the first full week of the current Parliament.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has sought a meeting with Transport Scotland’s chief executive, Roy Brannen, to discuss the project and in particular the section passing through his Moray constituency.

Mr Lochhead said: “The SNP Government has committed to dualling the A96 from Inverness to Aberdeen by 2030 and Moray is quite literally at the centre of these plans.

“Whilst there will be challenges along the way, not least with the route options, the overwhelming view expressed to me is that Moray and our communities need this and our local economy will undoubtedly benefit from the project.”

The general opinion is that dualling of the main Aberdeen/Inverness route will bring massive benefit to Moray’s economy – but Mr Lochhead recognises that there will be differing views of key issues, including the route options available.

He added that he was determined to ensure that Transport Scotland are aware of all views in his constituency – and that these are taken fully into account as the project progresses.

The MSP added: “Over the last few months I have been contacted by a large number of people from across the constituency about the dualling and I’ve been in regular contact with Transport Scotland and the Transport Minister about the upgrade.

“As local MSP, I am absolutely determined to maintain discussions with Transport Scotland bosses to ensure that the views of people in Moray are at the taken into account as things move forward, and I very much looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss the key issues face to face.

“I’d encourage all constituents who have strong views on the dualling project to get in touch with me so I can share those views with the Chief Executive.”

Ross call for Council to become more involved

Last night the Moray-based Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, Douglas Ross, gave his support to any action that gives the best outcome for Moray – adding that a more proactive approach on the issue from Moray Council was also required.

He said: “I’ve attended local meetings with worried residents and interested parties and raised many concerns about the current proposals in the council.

“While almost everyone accepts a dualled A96 is vital for our area we have to ensure it follows a route that provides the minimal disruption to local people but also provides the greatest benefits for drivers and local businesses.

“I’m extremely concerned about routes being proposed so far away from Forres, Elgin or Keith that would, in effect, deter people from coming off the A96 to shop or visit the area. There also has to be recognition of local designations which have to be carefully considered before any route is preferred.

“While it is important to discuss these plans with Transport Scotland, I reiterate my calls to Moray Council to get involved now, rather than leaving it too late and being presented with done deal.”

insideMoray has issued an invitation to the political parties representing Moray at the Scottish Parliament to provide a regular monthly diary to our readers.

Recognising that insideMoray, with over 100,000 regular monthly readers, is by far the most read community news publication in the region, the Scottish Conservative and Scottish Labour members have agreed to keep our readers up to date on local issues at the Parliament. We hope that others will join them.