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.
No matter what bypass route is chosen Auldearn is doomed in so many ways
You sound despondent Anonymous, you think the bypass will destroy Auldearn?
The bypass (built or not) will split our small community as it is inevitable that people will take sides with regard to the various routes being proffered, and this is before the physical concrete and tarmac physically divides Auldearn
The existing bypass route is the one that, should it be adopted, would, more than any other , effectively cut the greater Auldearn area in half.
No practical communication route is shown on the designs that would allow those living north of the A96 to get to the viillage without a detour of about 6 miles and it would also see an end to the regular through bus service.
The nothermost route, with modifications at its eastern end aound Penick and Wester Hardmuir, is much better served by flyovers ,affording easy access to the village for all concerned and it leaves the school field intact and does not affect anything like as many houses.
The whole thing is a badly planned and ill conceived 'hotch botch', and the roar of support last night for the speaker who told those attending the meeting what to do if they wanted to put the kibosh on the scheme come the vote in September must have almost reduced Cllr Macaulay to tears.
'the speaker who told those attending the meeting what to do if they wanted to put the kibosh on the scheme come the vote in September must have almost reduced Cllr Macaulay to tears'
Please tell us what to do as I for one don't want this bypass
Put simply.. Vote no...
Vote No in the referendum and stop the bypass? Aren't you worried that strategy might get people to vote YES instead anon?
Vote No?! That's funny because only a couple of years back Fanny Alexander and Graham Marsden led a Nairn bypass campaign on the back of the Lib Dem ticket, and if I remember rightly? The Lib Dems would now like to see Scotland tied to the shackles of Westminster and the Tories for evermore as the coalition has given them power. But heh, some politicians change their spots and maybe now that the Lib Dems are in league with the Tories spending in Scotland will be severely cut back including the likes of a Nairn bypass. I greatly look forward to us being much, much poorer if there's a no vote
Hey ho, someone lobs a wee comment in, "Put simply.. Vote no...".
Let's dispose of this little distraction and get back to the serious issue, put simply a 'Yes' vote is not necessarily a vote for the SNP. After the referendum, if Scotland voted Yes, then whose to say that the SNP would have the majority in a Scottish Government? All the other parties are not going to disappear, who knows they may even make a comeback! Stranger things have happened.
The issues with the bypass make it far more important than simplyfying it to a political matter.
It may well be a purely political hobby horse but that hobby horse is going to ride roughshod over quite a few folks in this area, and potentially ruin lives and livelihoods.
It may seem simple to follow the active 'no south route' lobby but adopting the existing bypass route, with its potential tarmac curtain effect will cause greater impact on far more people both directly and , as a result in the loss of a bus service, indirectly.
On balance, where it seems that the northern route is an odd option, it is the one route ( with modifications mentioned earlier) that will allow Auldearn to remain as a community and not, as was said last night, basically cut the area in two and resign the village to being a backwater.
I think routes 2A/E or H offer the best option for the village and , if common sense prevailed in the design, no one need suffer massive loss of amenity.
The only problem with that is hoping for common sense.
..."The bypass (built or not) will split our small community as it is inevitable that people will take sides with regard to the various routes being proffered, and this is before the physical concrete and tarmac physically divides Auldearn"
The person who wrote this has hit the nail on head. The adoption of the 2H panders totally to those living in the village or to the south. Total disregard has been placed on those of us who live to the north and stand to have the value of our homes and business wiped out. Auldearn has had the bypass for over 27 years and it has served them well. The recommendation Auldearn CC put forward that adoption of 2H would somehow prevent north Auldearn from becoming isolated from the rest of the village is absolute nonsense. The A96 has already done that to some degree and adding another two lanes won't alter that. The fact that the stongly represented south lobby has so callously and heartlessly recommended a route as far away as possible from them is seen by us on north side in pure contempt. The only way prevent such early and dangerous divisions within our village community is to adopt the option utalising the existing bypass route. Let's work together to get the best possible solution for all!
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