Thursday, October 15th, 2015
The much anticipated report on the progress of redesigning the proposed Elgin Western Link Road was released yesterday (14/10), and will be discussed by Councillors at the forthcoming Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting on the 20th October.1
The report highlights design changes and public consultation work carried out since the previous planning application was refused last year. It also shows the predicted costs of the project have risen by more than 20% (£2.6 million) since last December, and now stand at just under £12 million.
“The Council and their Consultants have worked constructively with the community to improve the design of the proposals where possible, and I know that that has been welcome,” stated James MacKessack-Leitch, Moray Greens Convenor.
“However, the fundamental differences over the route, cost, and necessity, as well as concerns over the associated air and noise pollution of this proposal, have not changed, and I fully expect the campaign against the proposed Western Link Road to continue.”
“Just yesterday (14/10) we heard Councillors welcoming the design contract for the new dualled A962 – a project that will give Elgin a de facto bypass, and remove more than a quarter of traffic from the city’s streets, putting into serious question the need for the proposed Link Road. At the very least Councillors should postpone the Western Link Road project until these details are made clear.”
“But of real concern are the spiralling costs of the project as highlighted in the report, particularly in these straitened times. How often have the people of Moray been told to tighten our belts, cut our cloth to fit, or make the best of a bad situation as services are cut, libraries close, roads and buildings crumble – while the Western Link Road project attracts ever more resources?”
“Councillors will have an opportunity to end this saga on Tuesday, and with costs increasing by over £2.6 million, the time has surely come to stop throwing good money after bad and invest in projects we actually need.”