Early yesterday the town’s Community Councils met up with Transport Scotland and their bypass consultants Jacobs. Dick Youngson, chairing the joint meeting of West and Suburban CCs, told those assembled last night in Nairn Academy:
“We had a very good meeting with them and we really sort of confirmed the route, the timescale and almost the finished date of our section.”
Dick added that they pointed out some of the areas where Transport Scotland could look again, particularly areas where farms where seriously bisected but that really the route has been chosen and that he thought that they would stick with it. Dick went on to say that it was the most cost effective route.
On time-scale Dick said: “We’re really talking about two years to identify contractors and to get the valuers in to negotiate acquisitions, compulsory purchase orders, settling compensation. That will be done quite quickly. Again crossing the railway, there will be accommodations with Railtrack, again quite quickly, once we know what sections of the that are being upgraded to twin track. That obviously dictates the size and length of the railway bridge. It’ll take them three years to build the section from Inverness to the east end of our bypass so almost from now, from today, five years on, if everything goes well; if everything runs, we’ll have a bypass. That’s what the timescale is.”
Dick added that the rest of the A96 route would be finished by 2030. Graham Kerr added a caveat on funding though, he said:
“Whether the 3 year contract period will start right away, whether five years will see the back of it – there could well be a gap in the middle whilst the funding has to be found.”