Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ask a question win a headline

The Nairnshire’s front page screams “Roads Delayed?” and outlines concerns by David Stewart MSP and Sandy Park over delays in studies for the A96 dualling and the Nairn Bypass respectively. David Stewart had asked a question in a motion before the Holyrood Parliament. In addition to the Nairnshire report he also received coverage in the P&J last week and yesterday he also posted details of his activities on his website. Mr Stewart is performing the role of the opposition in Holyrood in asking why the dualling survey hasn’t gone further yet and in doing so is being rewarded with headlines. Sandy is in power at Glenurquhart Road but he might as well be in opposition to the government as well because one wonders how much influence the Indy-Lib regime will have with the SNP administration down the road.

Maybe we’ll see some action on a Nairn by-pass during the current term of this government and a by-pass would be far better for Nairn and movement on the A96 in general than dualling the road between Nairn and Inverness which would just speed up traffic between two bottlenecks. One does wonder if we’ll ever see a by-pass though or dualling of the A96 when you consider the millions that will have to be spent simply repairing roads. Just take a look around Nairn and see the holes that were patched up over the winter, some of them look as though they are just about to crumble away again without the help of any ice, snow or road salt. Government money set aside for road improvements may have to be diverted to local authorities for road repairs simply to keep the existing network open.

Even if the SNP were to fail to deliver anything in terms of a by-pass would Nairn voters be so inclined to transfer their allegiance to Dave Stewart and his Labour Party pals? After all you make your decision at the ballot box on a whole range of issues and would a by-pass be at the top of them? One wonders too in future years if the roads will remain so busy. This observer has heard of one or two people who have recently given their cars up because they can no longer afford to run them and witness the year on year increase of holidaymakers going to the caravan site on foot or by taxi, arriving at Nairn via the railway station – a sign of how the future might look? Just now the numbers of Nairn residents travelling out of town to do their weekly shop has probably fallen due to the new star attraction of Sainsbury’s but this decline of activity on the local roads has probably been more than replaced by hundreds of folk coming here to “Try something Different.” How long will travelling long distances for shopping remain an option if costs for motoring continue to rise and the predicted inflation arrives to chew away at incomes and savings? By the end of this term of the Holyrood parliament we might be in a totally different economic landscape and owning a car might not be so important for quite a few more people. On the other hand in four years time we may be back to boom times with houses, business parks and shopping centres springing up at East Inverness, Tornagrain, Delnies, Sandown and all over Nairn South and beyond. Then a dual carriageway and by-pass would be delivered to us via Highland Council planning conditions on developers and we’d have nothing to worry about. All in all a great chance for the LibDems to update their Nairn needs a bypass blog - there's been nothing on there since December 2010.

Nice too to see the Nairnshire discussing potential cycleways between Nairn and Inverness on the front page too.


Mutley said...

With rising fuel costs has the car had it's day?

A dual carriageway between Nairn and Inverness equals go faster between the two destinations and then sit in bottlenecks when you reach either town, all this for billions of pounds that we don't have

Hopefully Nairn's new traffic lights will keep motorists away and we won't need a bypass

Anonymous said...

Taking a bypass into account when voting day comes along should be top priority for Nairn folk, imagine our town without all this traffic,-- bliss!
Well done labour party for at least speaking about it, but it has been over 30 years in the pipeline, and economically probably another 30.

Brian Turner said...

A car is still pretty much an essential requirement for living in the Highlands for many people, even if used less for economic or development reasons (ie, a closer supermarket).

However, the A96 and A9 both remain national disgraces - main connections between major Scottish centres - which are frequently brought to a crawl by farm traffic and other slow vehicles. And, of course, the bottlenecks themselves, not least centred on Nairn.

Even still, dualling and a by-pass are still important transport options to consider so it's good to see the issue being pushed when slowed.

However, Nairn may have to think more on visitor attractions to help avoid the town being by-passed by visitors as well as passing traffic if and when a bypass finally comes to fruition.

Aggrieved said...

Why not spend a fraction of the cost on some more rolling stock and cheaper fares and let the train take the strain.

Graisg said...

If we really must have new towns and massive new schemes between here and Inverness then why not double the railway track between here and Inverness, reopen the Ardersier branch line and put in a new station at Tornagrain for both the proposed developement and the airport?

On yer bike said...

Surely no one is going to be foolish enough to believe the words of a politician these days?

We can't afford major expenditure on roads, plus as the cost of fuel spirals almost by the week what use would new roads be, few are going to be using them

I'm with the call for a much improved public transport system, maybe even double fuel duty to pay for it?

Mr Toad said...

Our roads are far from a national disgrace, just a few impatient folk make them dangerous

Plan your journey and take your time and stop gurning about them

If you want a motorway go and live near one!

Brian Turner said...

Train fares are already going up from around 8% regardless:

However, interestingly enough Dave Stewart also pushed on questions regarding increasing train times from Inverness to Edinburgh:

Graisg said...

About two years ago this observer was waiting in Nairn for the early service to connect with the 0755 London train. The Nairn train was late and arrived at Inverness just in time for passengers to watch the London service leaving.
Scotrail got their act together and within 20 minutes nine of us who had missed the service were on our way south in a minibus taxi. The driver kept within the speed limit and we had a 20 minute comfort and tea/coffee stop at House of Bruair. The minibus reached Waverly station with 20 minutes to spare enabling passengers to continue their journey on the London service.
Most of the time the road south has the advantage over the train.

Anonymous said...

I reckon peak oil will be reached before one sod is cut for the Nairn bypass

The bypass has gone the way of the Lib Dems just like their blog