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Forres Community Council investigating new signs on A96 to attract visitors into town

By Garry McCartney

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Existing signage on the A96.
Existing signage on the A96.

INSPIRED by a driving holiday overseas, a community councillor wants to see local amenities better advertised to passing motorists.

Forres Community Council member, Steve Ferris, suggested at the watchdog's last meeting that the town should consider new roadside signage highlighting the availability of refreshments and toilet facilities to drivers on the A96 bypass.

He said: "I was on a car holiday in New Zealand and noticed signs encouraging motorists to leave the highway and go into nearby villages for comforts. It might be an idea to do the same for Forres, especially when the A96 bypass is moved even further away from the town.

"We could have them at either end, below the existing 'Welcome' and 'Twinned with' signs."

Mr Ferris highlighted Drum Castle's well maintained toilets, funded by Aberdeenshire Council, as an example of facilities appreciated by the public.

He said: "Moray Council have agreed to fund maintenance of the toilets at Grant Park for another year but if we want to encourage more people to visit our town centre, it is important that the Leys Road toilets are re-opened.

"We can't rely on volunteers - we would need to pay someone to maintain them."

The Leys Road toilets were closed in July, 2018 as a result of Moray Council budget cuts.

Mr Ferris suggested that a finance body such as the Berry Burn Community Fund could pay for the signs and toilet maintenance.

He finished: "We have an opportunity to get people travelling on the A96 into Forres. It would then be up to our local businesses to encourage them to stop and leave their cars for a look around."

FCC are investigating getting permission and funding for the signs.

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