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26 August 2010

Work kicks off on major A96 project

Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, today announced early design work for a major upgrade to one of the north of Scotland’s most important roads is under way.

The work will identify the preferred solutions for dualling the A96 between Inverness and Nairn, a new link connecting the A96 to the A9 south of Inverness and an A96 Nairn bypass.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I’m delighted to announce the go ahead for this work which further underlines our commitment to upgrading the A96.

“The study, which forms part of our commitment through the Strategic Transport Projects Review to upgrade this section of the A96, will identify solutions in taking the schemes forward - schemes which will help improve journey times in and around the east of Inverness and along the whole route, and provide benefits to local communities and businesses by better connecting them to economic centres. The upgrade will also improve access for passengers to Inverness Airport and other future growth areas on the A96 corridor. It is exactly this type of investment in transport infrastructure projects which is protecting economic recovery and building sustainable economic growth.

“The Scottish Government is determined to improve the main route between Aberdeen and Inverness, the two biggest economic centres of the North. This contract underlines our commitment to the communities and businesses this vital link serves.”

In taking forward the necessary, detailed preparatory work, the Scottish Government has been working with partners at The Highland Council to ensure proposals support their work on the Highland Wide Development Plan which will see significant growth along the A96 in the coming years.

The £500k contract has been awarded to Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd, and findings from this work are expected in Spring 2011.
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