Lack of A96 consultation “beyond belief” - MSP



19 September 2019

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on the Scottish Government to rethink its decision to build a brand new dual carriageway in place of the existing A96 at Inverurie, after answers to Parliamentary Questions revealed that none of the organisations on the A96 Environmental Steering Group were consulted first.

Dualling the A96 on its current route through Inverurie would not only be more cost effective but would also have less of an environmental impact. Yet Michael Matheson has admitted today that Ministers did not even consult Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Historic Environment Scotland or Aberdeenshire Council “on the decision to deselect an online dualling option of the A96”.

Lewis said :

“It is beyond belief that the Scottish Government would make such an important decision about such a significant infrastructure project without seeking the views of the A96 Environmental Steering Group and its member organisations.

“This is especially important because of the concerns local people have expressed regarding the impact that the remaining routes will have on the local environment, including threatened species like the curlew.

“It is even more extraordinary from a Government which has declared a climate emergency yet sees no need to consult its own environmental agencies on a decision to build a brand new dual carriageway in a rural area.

“The decision to take the online dualling option off the table has been take prematurely, and Transport Minister Michael Matheson must ensure that it is restored as one of the possible proposals – and ensure that proper consultation is carried out before any major decisions are made about the future of the A96 project.”