COUNCILLORS have today given the green light to a £30 million investment into Elgin’s transport network over the next 13 years.
The Elgin Transport Strategy is expected to deliver benefits of over £50 million once completed.
Improvement works are to begin immediately, with almost a million pounds being spent in the next 12 months to alleviate traffic problems in key areas.
This includes converting Moss Street to a one-way system, with traffic flowing northbound. Footways and cycle lanes will also be widened to provide safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians, to encourage more people to travel this way.
Meanwhile traffic lights are to be installed at the junction of South Street and Hay Street, as part of a full reconstruction of the junction. Two lanes of traffic will be provided on approach, where possible, and pedestrian crossings provided.
These improvements are expected to cost £900,000 and £233,000 towards this has already been received by the council through developer obligations. The rest of the money has been allocated from the council’s 2017/18 capital plan.
Future recommendations for Elgin range from installing traffic lights and cycle lanes to major infrastructure projects like a new railway crossing for vehicles between Ashgrove Road and Maisondieu Road. These projects are designed to help Elgin’s transport network cope with the 2,700 additional homes and 15,000 extra daily car trips expected by 2030.
Funding for these future plans will depend on available budget, based on a programme of work extending over several years, but it’s anticipated that external funding would be available for some elements.
Convener of Moray Council, Cllr James Allan, said the strategy was fundamental in futureproofing Elgin’s continued expansion.
“Without this, any planning applications which impact on Elgin’s road network would be difficult to approve, and agreeing developer obligations could be just as tricky. We’d be left with increased congestion and reduced opportunity to secure contribution from developers towards infrastructure solutions.”
Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure committee, Cllr John Cowe, said: “I'm delighted that the transport strategy for Elgin has been approved and it will be a strategic element of the Moray Growth Deal bid. The growth of Elgin is fast-paced and we as a council have to be at the forefront of developing our infrastructure in line with this.”
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.