Transport minister Keith Brown has set out how the A96 dualling programme will move forward. Preliminary engineering and strategic environmental assessment work will take place along the A96 corridor. Design work will go ahead for improvements between Inshes and Nairn, including a Nairn bypass. Options for bypasses will be assessed in Forres, Elgin, Keith and Inverurie.
Mr Brown said: “Dualling this important road is a significant undertaking which will require careful in-depth planning and design. This will ensure we deliver the right scheme to help tackle congestion while providing better journey time reliability and road safety for all users.
“To help us develop our plans, a significant amount of preliminary assessment, initial survey work and consultation will be carried out. Although our plans for dualling the A96 are less advanced than the A9, we are committed to investing in this strategically important route.
“Our work now is therefore the first, but no less important, step in developing a robust plan to improve connectivity between Scotland’s two northernmost cities, with the objective of completing full dualling by 2030.”
Transport Scotland is also progressing route option assessment work on the section between Smithton and Nairn and related work on a Nairn bypass.