Moray’s economic leaders have commissioned a study into a “dangerous” road vital to the region’s whisky industry.
Concerns were raised earlier this week about the state of the A95 route between Keith and Grantown, which is essential for the transportation of Speyside malt.
Yesterday, it was announced an independent review would be carried out to address the concerns.
It comes after Aberlour-based hauliers McPherson claimed they had to pay £1,000 every week on repairs to trucks which have become damaged while navigating narrow stretches.
The firm’s director, Martin Brown, said his fears were worsened recently when one 44-tonne lorry crashed on to its side after pulling on to a grass verge to avoid a collision.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead backed Mr Brown’s plea for especially tricky sections of the road to be widened.
And yesterday, John Cowe, chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership (MEP) group, confirmed the problem was something it had been looking into.
Mr Cowe, who is also a councillor for the Heldon and Laich ward, added that local authority officers had brought the matter before Scottish transport chiefs.
He said: “I welcome Mr Lochhead getting on board with the Moray Economic Partnership’s campaign to have the A95 improved.
“I wrote to the transport minister about this, and Moray Council’s transportation manager has met Transport Scotland to discuss the issue.
“MEP has also commissioned an independent study on the route which will inform the improvements required.”
Mr Lochhead vowed to work with MEP and the local authority to fight for the “essential” upgrades.
He added: “Improvements to the narrowest parts of the A95 are essential, and we all need to keep up the pressure to ensure that Moray Council’s study is given priority.
“I have written to the transport minister and his reply signalled that the campaign to improve the A95 is being taken seriously.
“I will work in partnership to highlight the A95, our whisky highway, and to build on the massive investment that is already being provided to the A96 and A9.”
Transport Scotland stressed that it was “aware” of how important the A95 is to Moray’s income.
A spokesman said that £25million had been invested since 2007 to ensure it operates “safely and efficiently”.
The organisation pledged to consider opportunities for widening the carriageway as it develops its maintenance scheme.