Sir, – I read with interest Councillor Murdoch’s response to my challenge on the western distributor road, but I’m still confused. It’s one thing to say the Scottish Government insists on transport improvements for Elgin, but it is something else to say that that means building the western distributor road. The problem being that no one seems to be able to explain how the western distributor road will work.
Economic growth is a laudable objective, but I fail to see how another road from Wittet Drive to Edgar Road will make Elgin the “economic hub of Moray”, or how another bridge over the railway will make Elgin “the driving force for the Moray Economic Strategy”.
We already have eight crossings of the railway in the two miles from Palmers Cross to Reiket Lane – that is one every quarter of a mile. Of course, two of those crossings are pedestrian crossings, and another is the level crossing, but do we really need a new bridge?
If, God forbid, anything were to happen to the mighty Laichmoray Bridge, I’m sure it could be rebuilt bigger and better next time and the existing resilience provided by the other crossings would no doubt cope with the extra traffic meantime.
The western distributor road has been in the Local Plan for many years, which I suspect is about the same length of time that people have been objecting to it.
I recall Councillor Bissett famously stopped the job some years ago, and I wonder if that story might soon become eligible for an airing in your ‘Echoes from the Past’? In fact, it was that monumental event that led me to give up on my own objection to the Local Plan at the time.
Hopefully, the economic development and infrastructure committee will see that the number of column inches condemning the western distributor road vastly outweighs Councillor Murdoch’s letter supporting it. The only rational course of action is to abandon the project and spend the money on something more popular. – Yours etc,