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Moray A96 upgrade announced

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Transport bosses have announced £335,000 plans to improve a stretch of Moray’s busiest trunk route.

Engineers are poised to begin work on resurfacing both lanes along more than half a mile of the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen road.

The project will stretch from the roundabout to the east of Lhanbryde to the Threaplands Garden Centre.

Work will commence on the scheme on Tuesday, and the project is expected to finish on Saturday, September 10.

Transport Scotland confirmed that the programme will be carried out overnight between 7.30pm and 6.30am in an effort to minimise disruption.

The organisation will also avoid working on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Last month, shocking statistics revealed that the A96 was one of Scotland’s most dangerous roads – with a major crash happening, on average, every 18 days between 2013 and the end of 2015.

Bear Scotland’s north-east representative, Andy Thomson, claimed that the road would be safer following the scheme.

Mr Thomson said: “This will help create a smoother and safer journey for motorists along this stretch of the A96.

“We’ve programmed the works to dovetail with the ongoing new development being carried out at Threaplands Garden Centre, to minimise any disruption.”

Bear Scotland added it will employ a convoy system during the initiative, to ensure the safety of the workforce and members of the public.

Access from the A96 onto St Andrews Road, in Lhanbryde, will also be closed for two nights to allow the roundabout to be resurfaced safely.

Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor, Douglas Ross, had previously urged Transport Scotland chiefs to implement the resurfacing scheme at the same time as the garden centre expansion.

Last night, he welcomed the decision to organise the work alongside it and applauded the “joined-up” approach.

Mr Ross added: “I’m pleased to see this investment on an important stretch of the A96, and I hope the sensitive way the works have been programmed through the night will limit any disruption to the vast majority of commuters.

“I’ve also been involved in discussions with Transport Scotland about ensuring the road works can be done in tandem with works at the garden centre.

“So I am reassured there seems to be joined-up thinking between the roads authority and this popular local business.”

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