Published: 14/02/2017 15:03 - Updated: 14/02/2017 15:06

MSP questions 'astronomical' cost of layby

The scene of the fatal accident at Barmuckity on the A96
The layby is located between Elgin and Lhanbryde.

AN MSP has asked whether an "astronomical" £30,000 upgrade to a layby in Moray has been a good use of public funds.

Conservative MSP Douglas Ross, whose Highlands and Islands constituency includes Moray, submitted a Freedom of Information request to Transport Scotland asking about the costs of work on the Barmuckity layby.

According to Mr Ross, the roads agency replied to say the layby – located beside the A96 between Elgin and Lhanbryde – was one of two which saw works undertaken at a cost of £63,800.

Mr Ross said: "Several people complained to me about the time the layby was closed for, what seemed liked simply aesthetic works.

"Transport Scotland have said they spent almost £64,000 on two laybys so it’s a fair assumption that the Barmuckity upgrades cost half of this, which is over £30,000.

"That’s an astronomical amount of money and people will quite rightly ask why so much has been spent on making the layby look better at a time when there are many other problems with the trunk roads, which the tens of thousands of pounds would be better spent on."

Mr Ross also said there was a "huge convenience" as the layby was closed for a number of weeks.

He added; "At the end of the day, people rightly expect all public agencies to use their funds wisely.

"I really have to question if over £30,000 to upgrade a layby is the best use of public funds in this instance."

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