scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Adding to A96 Congestion

Copy of a letter published in the Press and Journal 28/8/2002.


Government policy and Highland Council policy is to encourage freight on to the railways. Highland Council has now launched its commendable Rail Development Strategy, but councillors have also voted to put heavy lorry-loads of waste on to the A96 in preference to rail options. Despite their own strategy, despite the horrific lorry crash on the A90 recently, despite a lorry coming off the A9 in Caithness, and despite several councillors being delayed by an accident on the Kessock Bridge, they chose to add to the congested A96.

A councillor complained that they had not been given details of the other tenders. I understand these included rail options to Fife and East Lothian. The Scottish Executive provides grants to encourage freight on to rail. If these and other safety and environment costs had been factored into the equation the Peterhead option might not have been cheapest. Meanwhile, the A96 gets even busier and most of the rail improvements promised since 1996 have still to happen. The Inverness-Aberdeen transport corridor could do with an immediate action plan to put rail and road improvements in place and save lives.

Richard Ardern
Richard has also been in correspondence with Maureen Macmillan MSP about infrastructure improvements on the Far North, Aberdeen and Highland Main lines.