There were two meetings last night to discuss bypass routes, River CC met in the URC hall and Auldearn CC met in the Lethen Road hall out in the village. The Auldearn meeting was quite a big affair with at least a hundred people in attendance, River Community Council’s was much smaller in comparison.
Briefly, River CC have opted for a route similar to Suburban CC’s preference: the Gurn understands that River also back the 2H option that starts at Delnies (see pages 3&4 of this document). Unlike Suburban however they are not opting for the route to Auchnacloich to rejoin the line of the existing bypass but are declining to make any preference beyond Foynesfield. Tommy Hogg and his colleagues feel that from that point onwards it is up to Auldearn Community Council to make the choice and not for River to interfere.
Meanwhile in Auldearn the well-attended meeting was debating the merits, or more accurately the lack of them, of all the lines – the search was on for the least worst option. Roger Milton was an impressive chairman and he first allowed views on the routes south of the village and then the northern option. The potential destruction to businesses and the environment from some of the options was effectively articulated by several speakers. There seemed to be a drift towards a consensus that the existing line of the bypass was the one the that was the least damaging option -there was in fact only one person in the hall to speak against that line. Here's Roger Miltion opening the meeting:
The folk out at Auldearn last night were again at a loss to see why a dual carriageway is necessary but Roger pointed out that that was a political decision out of their hands and they had to respond to what they were presented with. There was around an hour and a half’s debate and Auldearn CC will meet again very soon to formulate their response to the bypass choices presented by Transport Scotland. We will post more details of the debate held in Auldearn when time permits.
With both River and Suburban choosing a route that would dovetail with what may be a majority desire in Auldearn for the existing route from Auchnacloich onwards along the existing bypass then perhaps it may be easier for Transport Scotland to come up with the definitive route than some observers had originally speculated.