Transport Scotland has expressed its intention to award £50m contract to Amey Arup Joint Venture (JV) for carrying out route option assessment as well as design work for dualling the 26-mile eastern section of the A96 between east of Huntly and Aberdeen.

Subject to the mandatory standstill period, the JV company is expected to begin the design work on the project next month.

Scotland Cabinet Secretary for Economy Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown said: “We are fully committed to dualling the A96, some 86 miles of upgraded road between Inverness and Aberdeen, by 2030.

"This major design contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96."

“The fact that four tenderers, including joint ventures, completed for this major contract are evidence of the interest in the market engendered by the infrastructure improvements this government is delivering across the country, including in the north.

“This major design contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the investment and improvements that it will bring to local economies right across the north of Scotland."

The project will see improved journey times, better road connectivity between destinations, enhanced road safety for all the motorists who use this key arterial road that connects two economic hubs in Scotland.

Brown further added: “We are at the same time progressing the design work for the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) and also the western section of the route between Hardmuir and Fochabers, having recently let locals and road users see and comment on the options being taken forward for the western section with a view to identifying a preferred route option next year.”

Image: Transport Scotland intends to award A96 dualling contract to Amey Arup Joint Venture (JV). Photo: courtesy of Transport Scotland.