Public consultation - updated/deselected routes
A96 Action is very pleased to see that the blue and green routes north of Inverurie have been deselected. In our view, however, this does not address what we consider to be a core issue with the north route; the carving out of potentially 28 miles of new grade-separated dual carriageway through some of the richest farmland and most beautiful countryside to be found in the Garioch.
We have also had it confirmed that this route would require a 600 metre long bridge across the Don Valley at Tavelty, an area rich in wildlife, including many protected species. By comparison, the AWPR Don crossing is 270 metres.
We call on Transport Scotland to re-examine dualling and otherwise upgrading the existing road, which we believe was rejected early in the process on the basis of a flawed and incomplete Feasibility and Appraisal Report.
Our critical evaluation of the evidence put forward in the report for ruling out online dualling options found it imbalanced, omitting a considerable number of positive benefits, while over-focusing on and overstating potential negatives.
We continue to call for the reinstatement of the existing A96 dual corridor as the optimum route for dualling and otherwise upgrading, to address the objectives of improving safety, congestion and shortening journey times on the grounds of:
· Waste of public money that should be spent on local services for local people
· Environmental impact – the urgent need to take action against climate change, protection of wildlife and flood prevention
· Unproven economic case, overstated economic benefits
· Government policy requirement to use existing infrastructure where feasible
A96 Action strongly supports measures to address road safety, journey times and peak time congestion in and around Inverurie but believes that use of the existing A96 corridor must be re-examined.