Whisky Road negotiations have been taking place since March

John Cowe - Moray Economic Partnership are preparing a report on the A95.
John Cowe – Moray Economic Partnership are preparing a report on the A95.

MOVES BY MORAY MSP Richard Lochhead to press for road improvements on the A95 have been welcomed by the Moray Economic Partnership (MEP) – who point out that they have been on the case for some months.

This week the MSP said that he was “astounded” that local haulage firms were constantly paying out for repairs to their trucks being damaged by minor accidents on the ‘Whisky Road’ – the section of the A95 that sees a steady stream of vehicles transporting the product of Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail.

Last night the chairman of the MEP, Councillor John Cowe, pointed out that while Mr Lochhead’s comments were welcome, talks have been taking place with Transport Scotland for some time.

He said: “I welcome Mr Lochhead getting on board with the Moray Economic Partnership’s campaign to have the A95 improved, which we commenced earlier this year.

“I wrote to the Transport Minister in March – which was acknowledged, and Moray Council’s Transportation Manager has met with Transport Scotland to discuss the issue. We have also commissioned an independent study on the route which will inform the improvements required.

“I look forward to Mr Lochhead’s support once this has been completed and I would be happy to bring him up to speed on our progress.”

Meanwhile hundreds of insideMoray readers responded to the story – with the majority pointing out that the behaviour of the truck drivers themselves should be part of any study into movement of vehicles on the artery.

Many readers, in particular those living along the route, insist that while more investment should be made on the route given its importance to the Moray and Scottish economies, greater care by the drivers themselves is equally important to making improvements to the A95.

Meanwhile Transport Scotland insisted that they were “very aware” of the importance of the route, pointing out that £25million had been invested since 2007 in safety improvements.

A spokesman said: “When developing our maintenance schemes we look for opportunities to widen the carriageway and strengthen the verge – depending on the availability of land and the location of utilities and services.

“Recent investments include the £1.9million road and drainage scheme through Aberlour plus another £500,000 maintenance works over the next two months at various locations along the A95.”