Highlands & Islands

Inverness to Aberdeen A96 upgrade plans to be displayed

Nairn harbour
Image caption A bypass is planned for Nairn

Potential routes being considered for an upgraded A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen and also the planned Nairn bypass are to be made public.

A series of events where plans for new dual carriageway will be displayed will be held in the cities, towns and villages connected by the road.

Transport Scotland will hold the exhibitions in places such as Elgin, Forres, Huntly and Keith.

About 88 miles (141km) of the A96 is to be upgraded by 2030.

There are eight options for the potential route of the dual carriageway and nine for the Nairn bypass.

The first of the nine exhibitions will be held in the Golf View Hotel in Nairn on Tuesday.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said the public was being invited to comment on the proposals.

He said: "There are nearly 100 miles of trunk road between Inverness and Aberdeen yet just over 11 miles are currently dual carriageway.

"Early engineering and environmental assessments are already under way and traffic surveys have already been carried out along the route to improve the understanding of traffic volumes and patterns."

Mr Brown added: "I would ask everyone, from Forres to Fochabers, Inverurie to Inverness, who has an interest in improving the road, to come and see for themselves the design proposals being put forward and to take the opportunity to help form the A96 dualling programme."

The results of research published in September suggested that businesspeople believe the A96 to be unsafe and that journeys on it take too long.

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) carried out a survey of 210 businesses on behalf of Transport Scotland.

The results suggested that between 60% and 77% of respondents rated the A96 as "poor or very poor" for safety.

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