A96 Dualling Hardmuir-Fochabers

Scheme outline

Construction of a new dual two-lane expressway to replace the existing A96 between Hardmuir, east of Nairn, and Fochabers. Most of the new road will be built off the line of the existing road, and the scheme includes provision of new bypasses to Forres and Elgin, relieving both towns of through traffic for the first time.

Seven grade-separated junctions will be provided along the 48 km (28 mile) length of road, including two short spurs from the new road towards Elgin.

This scheme is part of the A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen programme of works.

In preparation
Bypass or realignment
for use by all traffic
Highway authority
Scottish Government


29 December 2015

Design contract issued by Transport Scotland for 29 miles of the western section of the A96 east of Auldearn to east of Fochabers.

30 May 2016

A Mott MacDonald Sweco joint venture has been awarded a £50 million contract by Transport Scotland to carry out detailed design work for dualling the 29-mile western section of the A96 between Auldearn and Fochabers.

17 August 2018

Latest update for Hardmuir to Fochabers dualling section on the Transport Scotland website [PDF] is that several routes have been de-selected and a set of refined options are being taken forward.

4 December 2018

The preferred route for 28 miles (45km) of the route, between Nairn and Fochabers, has been announced. Transport Scotland's proposals include taking the trunk road north of Forres, south of Elgin and north of Fochabers.

Public exhibitions of the preferred route are taking place this week, and the leaflet and display panels are available to read online.

More information