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Improved route for cyclists and walkers

Published: 3 Feb 2016 09:47
Part of:
Transport

Proposed Changes to A96 Dualling Scheme On Display.

Locals and road users can view and provide comment on proposed changes to the A96 dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme at a series of drop-in sessions starting today in Culloden.

In addition, they will be able to see developing proposals for non-motorised users which includes over 18 miles off—carriageway shared-use facilities which will improve safety for cyclists, equestrians and walkers while also helping connect local communities along the route.

As a further sign of progress on the scheme, vital archaeological, geophysical and metal detecting surveys will get under way this month to help identify any archaeological features still present under the ground.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities said:

"As part of this Government's ambitious plans to dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen, we have been pressing ahead with the design work for the Inverness to Nairn section including a bypass at Nairn. This work is at a more advanced stage than the rest of the dualling programme with the preferred option identified and the draft orders expected to be published later this year.

"As for all our major road schemes, public engagement is at the heart of our plans and the changes we are proposing to the preferred option are partly as a result of the vital feedback received.

"At the same time as progressing the preferred option, we are developing proposals for a suitable shared-use path for non-motorised users including cyclists and walkers. The proposal on display include improving connectivity between Inverness and Nairn and enhancing the existing paths in many of the small communities along the route.

"We are also stepping up the work on the ground to help inform the design with surveys getting under way later this month to identify any archaeological features under the ground, and at the same time taking the opportunity to examine the site of the Battle of Auldearn – an important part of Scotland's heritage.

"I would encourage anyone with an interest to come along to one of the drop-in sessions over the next few days to see our proposals or view them online."

As the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme is further progressed, individuals, communities and businesses affected by the work will be kept fully informed and their vital feedback taken into account.

Notes to editors

Details of the Drop-in sessions:

Wednesday 3 February 2016 – 12 noon – 7 pm –The Barn Church, Culloden House Avenue, Culloden, Inverness IV2 7AB.

‪Thursday 4 and Friday 5 February 2016 – 12 noon – 7 pm – Nairn Community and Arts Centre, King Street, Nairn IV12 4BQ

Representatives from Transport Scotland's A96 Dualling team and their design consultants will be available to answer questions on the design work and proposed changes to the preferred option as we look to publish draft Orders for the scheme later in 2016

‪Details of the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme can be found at: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/a96-inverness-nairn-including-nairn-bypass.

We are shortly to undertake archaeological geophysical and metal detecting surveys as part of the design work for the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme. These surveys will be carried out within defined areas along the proposed route. The geophysical surveys will entail field surveyors using hand-held sensing equipment to create maps of archaeological features still present below the surface of the ground. The metal detecting surveys will entail field surveyors using hand held metal detectors to identify metallic objects in the ground, including on the site of the Battle of Auldearn. The purpose of these surveys is to inform and support the cultural heritage assessment for the scheme's Environmental Statement which is expected to be published later this year along with the draft Orders.