Whatever happened to planning?

Should we really be locked in the current controversy about the route for the upgraded Inverurie section of the A96?

The Inverurie bypass was built at the same time as the A96 dual carriageway from Aberdeen to the Port Elphinstone roundabout. But, presumably to save cost, the new bypass was constructed as a two-lane, single-carriageway road.

I am told there was a veto on building close to the new A96 dual carriageway, because it was expected that it would be widened to a dual carriageway at a later date. That date has come with the Scottish Government’s pledge to dual the entire length of the A96 from Aberdeen to Inverness by 2030.

Whether, or not there, was some prohibition of building right up to the Inverurie by-pass, it is clear that there should have been.

The clue is in the word “planning”. One definition is “the process of making plans for something”.

Like making plans for the inevitable future dualling of the road?

The problem is that, at some point permission was given to building houses right up to the embankment of the existing road. Now, apparently, there is not the width available to upgrade the road.

Hence all the different route suggestions in the current Transport Scotland consultation, the last day of which is tomorrow (Thursday, October 11) at Kinellar Community Hall in Blackburn from 12 noon to 7pm.

It takes just a glance at the map to see that blazing a new trail is likely to cost millions of pounds more than building a new bridge alongside the existing and widening the current road to dual carriageway, had that option been safeguarded.

It would also have avoided all the heartache for people who find themselves in the path of the proposed new routes for the A96 as it passes round Inverurie.

  1. If the west route is chosen, it will impact on the Davah area west of Inverurie.
  2. If the east route is chosen, it will impact a broad swathe of land from Daviot, through Barra, to Keithhall and Balbithan.

To see the proposals for the area including Kintore and Inverurie go to https://www.transport.gov.scot/projects/a96-dualling-inverness-to-aberdeen/a96-east-of-huntly-to-aberdeen/

You can email your comments on the proposals to a96dualling@transport.gov.scot, including your name, address, postcode and telephone.
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