Highlands & Islands

Preferred route for Nairn to Fochabers dual carriageway

Preferred option at Elgin Image copyright Transport Scotland/Ordnance Survey
Image caption The preferred option would see the new dual carriageway built south of Elgin

The preferred route for 28 miles (45km) of new dual carriageway on the A96 between Nairn and Fochabers has been revealed.

Transport Scotland's proposals include taking the trunk road north of Forres, south of Elgin and north of Fochabers.

There have been calls for a bypass at Elgin for decades.

The new section would also include new crossings of the rivers Findhorn, Lossie and Spey and five crossings over the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line.

Starting from Hardmuir, near Nairn, the stretch of carriageway forms part of a wider project to upgrade the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen by 2030.

Most of the trunk road between the two cities is single carriageway.

Image copyright Google
Image caption There have been calls for a bypass at Elgin for decades

Views have been sought from communities along the preferred route.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the overall project would eventually see 88 miles (141km) of the A96 upgraded.

He said: "The preferred option will provide better transport connections in Moray and to the wider transport network, bring relief to communities currently affected by through traffic and save over 20 minutes for road users travelling between Hardmuir and Fochabers.

"We are keen to let locals and road users have their say on our proposals and I would encourage anyone interested in our plans to come along to one of the exhibitions this week and offer any comments.

"As we develop the preferred option in greater detail, individuals, communities and businesses affected by the work will be kept fully informed and their vital feedback taken into account."

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