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Safety at Mundole turn-off from A96 under review by Bear Scotland

By Garry McCartney

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The blind spot at the junction of the increasingly popular Mundole road and the A96 at the Findhorn Bridge. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
The blind spot at the junction of the increasingly popular Mundole road and the A96 at the Findhorn Bridge. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

SCOTLAND’S leading road management firm is considering how to make a local junction safer.

Following repeated calls from wheelchair user and Forres Community Council (FCC) member, Ken Shand, Bear Scotland has confirmed it is investigating safety provision at the turn-off from the A96 to Mundole at the Findhorn Bridge.

Mr Shand explained some of the issues along the Mundole road and the main entrance to Forres from Inverness.

He said: “A footpath goes along the riverside up to the K9 Deli then pedestrians must cross the A96 and go up the path on the opposite side to the junction. It’s very narrow and there’s no way to get off for wheelchair users as the edge is too high. A path from Mackenzie and Cruickshank up to Mundole, turning on the left, would be would be perfect but a lowered kerb would be a good start.

“Moray Council should also completely cut back the scrub obscuring the turn-off corner to increase visibility for pedestrians and motorists.”

A footpath on the right of the bridge heading east currently stops behind overgrowth at the turn off to Mundole, preventing a clear view of traffic approaching the A96.

Mundole Farm owner Jenny Davidson cleared brush from land obscuring the road at the junction to erect new fencing.

She said: “It was hugely overgrown with brambles and gorse on the verges. This should be kept under control by Moray Council. Clearing the verges improves visibility for walkers, cyclists and motorists.”

Jenny suggests making the junction an under/overpass when the A96 is dualled.

She said: “This would help avoid accidents that are far too frequent at turn-offs on main roads. The A96 is very busy and fast. The speed of traffic coming from the west makes it hazardous to exit from Mundole, as well as coping with the blind spot which has always existed to the right. We desperately need walk and cycle lanes with a separation area from the road. And a walking/riding track from Mundole towards the Grantown road would make it much safer.”

Bear Scotland confirmed representatives met with Mr Shand to hear his concerns.

A spokesman said: “The points Mr Shand raised are being taken into consideration as we explore the feasibility of improved crossing facilities. However, due to Bear Scotland handing over responsibility of the North East trunk road unit to a new operating company on August 16, it will not be feasible to design and programme any major works. We will liaise with the new operating company and ensure they are aware of the concerns.”

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