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Inverness and Nairn SNP MSP Fergus Ewing calls on the Scottish Government to deal with congestion in Nairn by launching the tender process for a bypass and dualling to Inverness – but the transport minister only said that they would 'move as quickly as we can'

By Scott Maclennan

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Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing.
Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing.

Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing challenged the Scottish Government to tackle the congestion experienced around Nairn by initiating the tender process to dual this section of the A96 including a bypass around the town.

Mr Ewing said that congestion seen around Nairn – which has a population of around 12,000 – experiences traffic congestion as bad as the cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh.

He asked that given it can take local up to an hour to reach one end of the town from the other will the Scottish Government commit to starting the process to award a contract for the work.

He said: “The traffic congestion experienced in Nairn by the local residents can be as bad as that experienced in Glasgow or Edinburgh, except that in Nairn there is only one road for citizens to use – namely the A96 which goes through the town.

“Delays of up to an hour can be experienced to get from one end of the town to the other during the tourism season.

“Therefore, can I ask the minister: will he approve and commence the initiation of the tender process or the delivery of the preferred route agreed of the duelling of the A9 between Inverness and Auldearn and including the Nairn bypass.

“And will he accept my invitation as the constituency member to come and meet local people to hear for himself the strength of views, and feelings on this matter minister.”

Minister for Transport MSP Graeme Dey said: “I'm happy to commit to such a visit although I am not in any way unaware of the strength of the views given the many conversations I've had with Mr Ewing who's a strong advocate for this.

“And I'm sure the member will very much welcome the fact that what is committed to on the A96 includes the bypassing of Nairn and the dualling from Inverness to Nairn.

“But as a former minister Mr Ewing knows there are processes around such projects which have to move forward, that said, I give him the assurance, we will move as quickly as we can to progress this work.”

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