Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

A96 dualling review begins more than a decade after plans drawn up

The A96 review will determine whether the route will be fully dualled between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Consultants have been appointed to take forward the controversial A96 dual carriageway review and should report back this year.

Jacobs Aecom will assess the climate impact of dualling the road between Aberdeen and Inverness, a policy paused by the SNP-Green coalition at Holyrood.

North-east Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said to start the review more than a decade after first announcing the plans “shows how much the SNP have turned their back on drivers to satisfy their Green coalition partners”.

Transport Scotland has committed to an “enhancements programme” for the A96 that improves connectivity between surrounding towns, tackles congestion and addresses safety and environmental issues.

The A96 between Inverness and Nairn.

Consultants are currently gathering “initial baseline information” from previous studies to assist the identification of “transport problems and opportunities”.

The findings will be published by the end of this year and will determine whether the route will be fully dualled.

However, Green north-east MSP Maggie Chapman revealed last year she is confident it will “not be viable” to fully dual the road for environmental reasons.

This was followed by contractors behind part of the A96 dualling project shut their Forres office last Hogmanay, blaming the impact of an SNP-Green deal.

‘A96 needs to be upgraded’

The intention to fully dual the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness was announced in December 2011.

The plan was to connect all of Scotland’s cities by the dual carriageway network.

Mr Kerr said: “The A96 needs to be upgraded to give drivers a safer and improved journey between Aberdeen and Inverness, drive the north-east economy forward and ensure our emergency services can get where they need without delays.

North-east Conservative MSP, Liam Kerr.

“Instead, this SNP-Green government want to demonise motorists rather than getting on with the upgrade that they have promised but failed to deliver.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The current plan is to fully dual the route between Inverness and Aberdeen.

“However, we have agreed to conduct a transparent, evidence-based review of the programme which is under way and will report by the end of 2022.

“That is sensible good governance for major investment of that level.”

The spokesman added that “appropriate, effective stakeholder and public engagement is being planned and will be carried out at key stages during the process”.

No end in sight for long-running A96 upgrade battle

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal