Transport Secretary Michael Matheson invited to hear residents' A96 dualling concerns

Aberdeenshire West MSPAlexander Burnett says the A96 project is " huge" for the North-east and the decision that is eventually taken on the route will have major implications for the local area
Aberdeenshire West MSPAlexander Burnett says the A96 project is " huge" for the North-east and the decision that is eventually taken on the route will have major implications for the local area

North-east MSPs have invited Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to a public meeting to hear firsthand the concerns of local residents about the A96 dualling project.

Scottish Conservative MSPs Alexander Burnett and Peter Chapman have written a joint letter making the request.

Mr Chapman had previously written to Mr Matheson to request a face-to-face meeting to discuss the concerns of the Inverurie-based A96 Action Group.

The local campaigners are urging Transport Scotland to reconsider upgrading the existing route of the A96 rather than pursuing other options through unspoilt farmland.

Fresh questions have also been asked in recent weeks about the environmental impact assessments carried out into the route options.

Now the local MSPs are calling for Mr Matheson to attend a public meeting to allow residents to air their concerns directly.

North East MSP Peter Chapman said: “I am disappointed that the Cabinet Secretary has not yet responded to my initial request for a meeting.

“However, since then, there have been further questions asked and concerns raised about this project and the consultation process.

“I think the best thing would be for a public meeting locally to allow people who will be affected by this project to pose their questions directly to the Transport Secretary.”

Aberdeenshire West MSP ​Alexander Burnett commented: “This is a huge project for the North-east and the decision that is eventually taken on the route will have major implications for the local area.

“I am sure that campaigners would like to take the opportunity to put their case directly to the Cabinet Secretary.

“I hope that he will respond positively to this request and we can get a date in the diary at the earliest opportunity.”