Consultation extended into A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen preferred option

Transport Scotland has extended its consultation into the preferred dualling option of the A96 Aberdeen to Huntly route following criticism from an MSP and local councillors.

Consultation extended into A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen preferred option

The preferred option was been unveiled to the public at a virtual exhibition in December.

However, Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee expressed its disappointment over the timing of the consultation having been launched just days before Christmas.

Committee chair Cllr Peter Argyle said he had issued a strongly-worded letter to cabinet secretary Michael Matheson seeking an extension to the February 15 deadline to give more time for responses to be made both from the community and the council’s Garioch and Marr area committees.

Regional Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald had also written to Transport Scotland over the concerns.

Now the period for comments on the preferred option has been extended by a further three weeks.

Transport Scotland said it has listened to the feedback from local communities and their elected representatives and is happy to extend the feedback period to March 8.

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “As with all Transport Scotland’s major infrastructure projects, consultation is an integral part of the design process for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme.

“Recognising the impact of the festive period and the COVID-19 restrictions, we had already extended the usual feedback period by two weeks to eight weeks.

“However, I recognise the widespread interest in this scheme and in light of the ongoing restrictions and feedback received, I am happy to extend the consultation period for a further three weeks to let the public have their say on the preferred option.

“As we continue to develop the preferred option in greater detail, individuals, communities and businesses affected by the work will be kept fully informed and their feedback carefully considered.”

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