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Design changes announced for A96 dualling east of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme

By David Porter

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Following engagement on the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme with local communities, road users and other stakeholders, a number of changes have been made to junctions and a new junction has been proposed at Pitscurry.

A spokesman of Transport Scotland said: "The design work is continuing in order to identify a preferred option to be announced within the coming months.

"People who took part in our previous consultations on the scheme have been sent details of these further changes.

"In addition, anyone can view our proposed changes online on the scheme’s community engagement web page."

Transport Scotland have added a new junction to plans for the A96 dualling
Transport Scotland have added a new junction to plans for the A96 dualling

Depsite continuing opposition to the plans from groups such as A96 Action, not least for concerns over the flood plain at Kintore, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government has given a clear commitment to dual the A96.

"When completed this ambitious £3 billion programme will deliver around 88 miles of upgraded road between Inverness and Aberdeen, a huge task but one we are relishing.

He continued: "“Dualling the A96 requires careful, in-depth planning and design so that we deliver the right scheme and help tackle congestion, make journey times more reliable and, crucially, improve road safety.

“It is important that we listen to all stakeholders including landowners and members of the public as we progress the design work for this section of the A96 between East of Huntly and Aberdeen. "The junction changes and the new junction at Pitscurry have been informed by that vital feedback.

“We want to ensure that everyone living on or near the options under consideration is aware of these changes which can be viewed on the scheme’s web page.

“In addition to the junction design changes, we have also carried out further work which has confirmed our earlier decision to rule out online widening of the existing A96 through Inverurie.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in this important scheme to view the changes as we look to identify a preferred option for the scheme within the coming months.”

The most major change is the provision of a new Pitscurry Junction.

In the May 2019route option design there was no junction connecting the new A96 dual carriageway with the B9001 which is one of the main existing routeslinking communities to the north of Inverurie.

Following further traffic assessment work, it was identified that the route option would be more accessible to traffic from communities such as Rothienorman and Daviot if an additional junction

was added at Pitscurry.

The new Pitscurry Junction links directly to the B9001 local road linking to the communities of Rothienorman and Daviot and removing their need to travel through Inverurie town centre and enables traffic movements in all directions.

Changes also include the the Colpy Junction which is relocated north of Colpy with west facing slip roads only.

It will provided a shorter, more direct link to/from the A920 and to/from the new A96 west; and reduces the environmental impact on the Colpy community when compared tothe previous layout

The Colpy Junction (Red) follows the same changes and reduces C68S realignment, maintaining direct connectivity to properties to the west of the new dual carriageway.

Proposals also look at the Kellockbank Junction Kellockbank Junction.

In May 2019 route option layout, for Kellockbank Junction this was grade separated with traffic movements in all directions.

Public feedback was received mregarding the proximity of Colpy Junction to Kellockbank Junction.

Following further traffic assessment work, it was identified that Kellockbank Junction only requires east facing slip roads (to/from Aberdeen direction) to provide the link required for traffic to/from the community of Insch, the B992 and the existing A96.

The Kellockbank Junction updated layout has a smaller footprint, “half diamond” layout reducing the landtake and environmental impact and requires only one structure over ‘The Kellock’ watercourse, minimising the potential impact on its floodplain; and maintains connectivity to/from the community of Insch.

Full details of the changes and the recent re-examination ofthe reasoning for not following the existing route path can be found at https://www.transport.gov.scot/projects/a96-dualling-inverness-to-aberdeen/a96-east-of-huntly-to-aberdeen/

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