A campaign group who demanded that Transport Scotland give locals a larger say in the creation of a new dual carriageway through Moray will have their case heard at the Scottish Government.
The Forres Area A96 Community Group believe that members are not being properly consulted about plans to dual the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road between Hardmuir and Fochabers.
The group wants to introduce a “co-creation process” which will give the community more say when it comes to finalising the best route.
The process would involve local people holding lengthy discussions with representatives from Transport Scotland to thrash out the best way forward for the proposals.
Now after a meeting with Moray MSP, Richard Lochhead, members of the Forres protest group believe their requests might finally be listened to, after their previous correspondence with the Scottish Government had fallen on deaf ears.
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Susie Minto said: “Five of us met Mr Lochhead and we were able to put our single-issue case for the co-creation process to him, which would mean more local people are involved with the decision.
“At the conclusion of the meeting he said that he will get in touch with Transport Scotland and find out how much of a chance we have got to get this process.
“We all felt that we’d been really listened to and we were delighted that he made the time for us today to sit, engage and listen to us and to agree to follow it through.”
The campaigners stress that they are a “route-neutral” group, who want to work with the government to choose the “best option for the region”.
Mr Lochhead threw his support behind the idea of more community involvement in the A96 dualling plans. He said: “I fully support the idea of greater involvement of the local community in designing the route of the dualled A96 and, if a way can be found to make that happen, I would welcome that.
“I have agreed to seek the views of Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government ministers to seek an understanding of steps can be taken to further involve local communities without causing undue delay to the project.”