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Preferred route to dual A9 between Slochd and Dalraddy welcomed

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The preferred route of a key section of the A9 to be dualled has largely met with approval.

Near final plans for the Slochd to Dalraddy section of the Inverness to Perth trunk road were revealed to the public yesterday.

The 15mile stretch will eventually plug the gap between the existing dual carriageway north of the Slochd Summit – and the Kincraig to Dalraddy stretch currently under construction.

It has been seen as one of the most challenging sections to dual because of the tightly constrained geography, including the rockfaces at Slochd, peat bogs and the Highland Mainline railway which hugs the road for much of the section.

The finalised route was broadly welcomed by the public at a public exhibition in Aviemore yesterday.

The fine details of the route will now be worked out and Transport Scotland expect to public road orders by the end of the year.

Stakeholder manager for the agency Sam MacNaughton said: “We’ve had a lot of support from the public who are seeing the preferred route for the main line and the strategic junctions.

“Generally what they’ve seen they’ve been supportive of and it also gives the opportunity to people to feed into the next phase of the design and we can take account of that as it moves forward.”

The dualled road will include a graded junction at Blackmount to serve Carrbridge and other Strathspey villages.

The existing junctions at Granish and south of Aviemore will also be replaced.

A junction providing access to the A9 from the centre of Aviemore was considered but scrapped after public consultation.

One concern was raised by the Andrew Gansden, who travelled from Buckie to see the planned design for the Granish junction, which links the A9 and the A95 Aviemore to Keith road, providing a main link to the central belt from Moray.

He said he would preferred to see a roundabout to replace the existing T-junction.

Another of the major constraints of the section is that the road is its location next to areas of natural history interest, such as the Craigellachie reserve near Aviemore.

Val Emmett, secretary of Kingussie Community Council, attended the consultation event to raise the issue with Transport Scotland officers.

She said: “There are a number of areas of interest beside the A9 and I was keen to make sure they were aware of them.

“I’m quite satisfied that they are and are taking that into account so it all seems fine.”

A further exhibition will be held today at Carrbridge Village Hall between 12pm and 8pm.

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