Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lucky Nairn

Up at the Cawdor and West Nairnshire CC meeting on Monday night residents from the village and beyond were discussing the state of the roads. There are plenty of potholes it seems and even places where it is claimed entire sections of road are disintegrating and if that isn’t enough there is a shortage of white lines on the roads too. Cllr Roddy Balfour explained that there would be work going ahead in the dryer spring weather as a lot of extra cash would be available in the next few weeks he went on to say something quite depressing however: “But I must stress there’s not going to be a lot of money around in the next few years and the roads are going to deteriorate and we just have to accept it.”

Last night (Tuesday) Liz told the River CC meeting that complaints that Andrew Purkis had raised with her over the state of roads in the Fishertown would most likely not be dealt with. She explained how John Fraser of TECS had told her that his department were not even getting high priority works done. Part of the problem seems to be a manpower issue as Liz explained that a number of staff in tech maintenance were being deployed for example to the recycling centre or to the bin lorries.

This evening (Wednesday) at the West Community Council meeting there was discussion once again over the rat-runs and the Sandown Farm Lane, Altonburn Road and Marine Road route was described as an A96 by-pass. At times that would be an accurate description to this observer. How do you solve that problem or that of large numbers of vehicles driving at high speed on the Croy, Geddes, Auldearn alternative route too? The only real 100% effective solution would be a by-pass and it seems we might have to wait until 2020 for that to start. Will we be lucky enough to see that come to pass or will priorities change by 2020?

Could it be that money will have to be diverted just to keep many minor roads in the Highlands passable? And what of the unexpected. Many Gurnites might have seen the situation with the A890 Stromeferry by-pass which has now been closed for three months. Last week the West Highland Free Press had a major gurn and Nairn gets a mention. Here’s part of the editorial talking about a new by-pass as a long term solution to rock fall problems:

“Any such option will cost a lot of money. Amounts between £40 and £70 millions have been mentioned. The sound like formidable sums.

But this week the Scottish Government proudly announced that it is spending £300 million merely on improving another Highland ‘A’ road. The A96 between Inverness and Nairn is to become a dual carriageway, and Nairn itself is to be by-passed.

Lucky Nairn. The A96 is certainly busy. But the last time we looked it was perfectly passable. It has never ben closed for three hours, let alone three months by rock-falls.”

Tonight it was stressed that we should all write to Keith Brown the transport minister to keep putting pressure on to help the case for a by-pass. The sad truth is that communities throughout Scotland are competing with each other for road improvements. If we win somewhere else will lose and vice versa.

1 comment:

Visit Scotland said...

On no, if tourists spot the state of the roads and heaven forbid the weeds in the Fishertown they might never come back.

Nairn's last year as a tourist destination?