Monday, May 06, 2013

Community Council thinking on the latest Nairn South planning application – the transport angle

Gurnites will know that the town’s three Community Councils are united against any further development at Nairn South until there is sufficient infrastructure ( including a bypass) to cope with what they feel will be the impact of the proposal. At last week’s Suburban Community Council meeting Dick Youngson read out a statement for approval for inclusion in their submission to the latest planning application. The statement had been drafted and approved by West Community Council and (the Gurn understands) will also be discussed at River CC this week. The statement, which found unanimous approval with the Subbies read as follows:

"The view of the meeting was that the bypass at Nairn was not just necessary but should be a priority. It therefore could and should be implemented as a first phase of, or indeed ahead of, dualling the rest of the A96. It was clear from comments at the meeting that pending the delivery of a bypass there remains an urgent need to take other early action to alleviate the continuing problems of traffic transiting Nairn on the A96. This is necessary not only in the interests of the local residents and the users of the A96 but also because of the knock-on effects of the bottlenecks in Nairn on the surrounding roads and communities. The key point is that a lack of action or progress on the trunk roads and the Nairn bypass (strategic matters for which Transport Scotland is responsible) is having immediate and direct repercussions on the other minor roads for which the Highland Council is responsible. Specifically the people of Auldearn, Cawdor, Croy and West Nairnshire are increasingly concerned about the growing hazards posed by the growth of unofficial bypasses on the minor B roads (assisted and aided these days by SatNav guidance). In particular the increasing use of these minor roads by heavy goods vehicles, tourists and commuters increases the accident risk and the dangers to other users.

The meeting therefore decided to seek further assurances from the Government on the early (i.e. well before 2030) delivery of the bypass, which does not depend on decisions relating to the dualling of the rest of the A96 transit through Nairn; meanwhile to urge Transport Scotland to take a more proactive approach to alleviating the current problems of the A96 transit through Nairn; and to ask the Highland Council to take further action as a matter of urgency to manage traffic, reduce risk and improve the safety of the B roads which are currently affected by the bottleneck in Nairn.

We would appreciate a response indicating what action will be taken in reference to these concerns.”

*Here Dick was making reference to the last joint meeting of the town’s three Community Councils. 

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