Group meet with Cabinet Secretary

Group members with Gillian Martin MSP, Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown, Mike Rumbles MSP, Peter Chapman MSP and Liam Kerr MSP
Group members with Gillian Martin MSP, Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown, Mike Rumbles MSP, Peter Chapman MSP and Liam Kerr MSP

A campaign group calling for the proposed dualling of the A96 to be kept away from an iconic landmark have brought a report outlining their concerns to the Scottish Parliament.

The Save Bennachie group were met by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown at Holyrood on Thursday, January 11, alongside MSPs from the Lib Dems, Labour and the Scottish Conservatives.

The group has been campaigning for over a year to ensure plans by Transport Scotland to dual the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road between the city and Huntly is kept away from Bennachie.

Two of the potential routes being considered would result in the road passing close to Bennachie Forest.

The meeting comes after Gillian Martin MSP wrote to Economy Minister Keith Brown to express her concerns about the potential impact on the landmark.

Potential routes are currently being assessed by Amey-Arup Joint Venture for Transport Scotland.

A spokeswoman for the Save Bennachie campaign said: “Our purpose is to help Government and Transport Scotland decision makers understand that it would be an environmental, economic and social disaster to site this route near Bennachie.

“We are very grateful to Gillian Martin MSP for arranging the opportunity to hand over the report at Holyrood.”

Ms Martin said: “Bennachie is an iconic landmark in the North-East and we must work hard to protect it and other areas of natural beauty across the region.”