Moray SNP News
Moray’s MSP has met with the Chief Executive of Transport Scotland, Roy Brannen, to discuss the dualling of the A96 and what it will mean for communities in Moray. Mr Lochhead has described the meeting as useful, and was pleased to have the opportunity to raise the key issues with the Chief Executive.
Richard Lochhead expressed to Mr Brannen the concerns that constituents have raised with him in relation to Option N as a potential route and urged Transport Scotland’s Chief Executive to ensure there’s a high level of communication with local communities throughout the project. Mr Lochhead also raised the issue of cycle paths along the dualled road and pressed Transport Scotland to provide clarity on what new by-passes will be included as soon as possible.
Speaking after the meeting, Moray’s MSP said:
“This was a useful meeting with Transport Scotland where I raised a number of concerns that had been expressed with me by constituents in Moray.
“The dualling of the A96 is a monumental investment that will provide a massive shot in the arm for local businesses and local families by improving travel times and the journey experience between the North's key communities. However, much is to be done before the preferred route is chosen and I urged Transport Scotland's Chief Executive to ensure we have good communication with local communities in Moray in relation to the process and statutory consultations that will be taking place over the coming couple of years. I'm pleased that he promised to ensure this happens.
“In particular, I emphasised the concerns being expressed to me by constituents living close to Option N which I think would essentially body swerve our bigger communities completely, establishing a new road rather than dualling the existing route.
“Although I realise that more than one option must be consulted upon, the sooner decisions are taken the better, so that communities, businesses and families based near all the options can have clarity over the future. Transport Scotland explained that the consultation process has to be water tight and robust to avoid successful challenges in the courts that could delay the project.
“It is also vital that the Moray Council takes a view in due course on its preferred route as clearly their views are going to count.
“I also raised other issues such as the role of cycle paths alongside the new road, as well as pressing for clarity on the new by-passes that will be incorporated into the project and I will be keeping a close eye on these issues going forward.
“This was a useful meeting and I hope to also invite the new Transport Minister to Moray in the near future to discuss this and other transport related issues.”