New details about upgrades to Moray’s busiest road will be unveiled in the next two weeks.
Transport Scotland has organised a series of exhibitions to showcase the latest developments in the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road dualling project.
Changes to routes which have been under consideration between Hardmuir, near Nairn, and Fochabers are expected to be announced, following feedback at consultation events last year.
Meanwhile, potential junction layouts should also be on display at the events across the region.
Yesterday, Marc Macrae, chairman of Moray Council’s planning committee, welcomed the new opportunity for locals to have their say on the plans.
He said: “We’re only too well aware of the impact this will have on the Moray landscape. That’s why it’s important that the right route is chosen for the right reasons, not because it is the cheapest option.
“In Elgin, we have the big development to the south and at Findrassie to the north, so which side the bypass will go on will have a big impact on how the council plans future developments. To an extent, everything is on hold.
“While the sessions will provide further details, there will be little comfort for many home, land and business owners who face continued uncertainty.”
Transport Scotland expects to publish its preferred route for the section between Hardmuir and Fochabers, which is expected to cost about £50million, before the end of the year.
Exhibitions in the region last year included 34 potential options for the 28-mile stretch that runs through Moray.
A 2030 target has been set for completion of the entire route between Aberdeen and Inverness.
Economy Secretary, Keith Brown, described the massive project as a task which the Scottish Government was “relishing”.
He said: “Dualling the A96 requires careful, in-depth planning and design so we can deliver the right scheme, tackle congestion, make journey times more reliable and, crucially, improve road safety.
“We’re holding a series of public drop-in sessions which will include potential junction layouts and design updates that have been made following feedback received on initial route options identified last year.”
The exhibitions will take place at Elgin Town Hall on Tuesday, February 27, the Mansefield Hotel in Elgin on Wednesday, February 28, Forres Town Hall on Thursday, March 1 and Fochabers Institute on Friday, March 2.
All the sessions run from noon to 7pm.