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Fergus Ewing: Commitment to the A96 projects is unwavering

By Fergus Ewing

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Jenny Gilruth met with representatives from the community.
Jenny Gilruth met with representatives from the community.

The Inverness and Nairn MSP on plans for the A96 trunk road and the recent council elections.

I was pleased to welcome the Scottish Government’s transport minister Jenny Gilruth to Nairn last week to meet with local businesses and community representatives as well as visiting and speaking to children and staff at the local primary school, to discuss the dualling plans for the A96.

All of them explained to the minister the need of the town to have a dualled road and bypass that will effectively improve safety and reduce noise pollution, delays and congestion caused by the traffic that goes through the centre of Nairn.

I am pleased to report that the Scottish Government have made its position very clear that they are indeed committed to delivering the dualling of the A96 from Inverness to Hardmuir and the Nairn bypass and that this commitment is not in any way impacted by the co-operation agreement between the Scottish Government and the Green Party.

Transport Scotland officials at the meeting explained that the work to proceed with the compulsory purchase of land, relocate utilities, advance preparation work, and working with the industry as regards procurement are all now set to proceed. That leads to tender and award of contracts and construction. It is not yet possible to put precise dates on this, but the minister made it very clear to all Nairnites that the Scottish Government’s commitment to this project is indeed unwavering and will proceed.

n I wish to congratulate all those elected to serve on the Highland Council, and also those who stood down.

Working as a local councillor is, if taken seriously, a tough job with pretty modest pay. Many councillors over the years have done sterling service for local communities and should be, and are, fondly remembered.

Local politics works best when we work together and I have, in particular, immensely enjoyed working with colleagues such as the former council leader Margaret Davidson and Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael on the Inverness Castle delivery group – and all is going well on that project thus far, so I hope to continue the good partnership working to see it to fruition.

Following negotiations over the past few days, the SNP group at Highland Council have come to an agreement with the Independent group to form a majority administration. This agreement will see the SNP group leader as the leader of Highland Council and the council representative at COSLA.

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