A transport masterplan for Elgin costing up to £30million is due to be debated today as the authority looks for alternatives to the scrapped Western Link Road.
A of solutions aimed at unblocking gridlock have been pitched include making Moss Street a one-way route for vehicles, a new bridge connecting Ashgrove Road and Maisondieu Road as well as new cycle lanes and footpaths.
Springfield Properties’ managing director Innes Smith agrees changes to ease the flow of traffic in the town are “inevitable” but believes the roads are already better than other parts of the country.
He said, “The Edgar Road retail area in particular is going to need better access for traffic from the north which causes congestion at the Laichmoray and Edgar Road roundabouts.
“We need to be careful not to over play the issue though. Elgin is an attractive town with roads infrastructure better than many parts of Scotland.
“I would take Elgin over Edinburgh over any day of the week.”
Moray Council officials have warned radical action needs to be taken with up to 2,700 new homes being built in Elgin before 2030 and 500 extra personnel due to be deployed at RAF Lossiemouth. More than 800 residents took part in the consultation that helped draw up the proposals. The congestion-easing solutions have been aimed at coping with an expected rise of 15,000 extra car journeys a day in the town.
Elgin City North councillor Patsy Gowans is eager to see traffic improvements in the town but wants them to be “practical and realistic”.
She said, “The whole strategy will be reliant on getting permission for the new crossing from Maisondieu Road and the bridge at Ashgrove Road. It really hinges on what happens with the railway.
“At the moment there is no business plan for this. It’s all aspirational so it’s difficult to tell how it will affect the look of the town without seeing the final plans.”