Date lodged: 20 May 2019
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to the question S5O-03236 by Michael Matheson on 15 May 2019 (Official Report, c.16), in light of the cabinet secretary's comment that the "planned dualling of the A96 will involve approximately £3 billion of investment", how much it estimates it will cost to dual the (a) Inverness-Nairn, (b) Hardmuir-Fochabers, (c) East of Fochabers-East of Huntly and (d) East of Huntly-Aberdeen section, and whether it will provide a breakdown of how this estimate has been made.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 29 May 2019
Estimated costs for the East of Fochabers to East of Huntly and the East of Huntly to Aberdeen sections will be developed as we take forward design and assessment work on these sections. In terms of the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section, cost estimates for each of the options under consideration are currently being developed, the outcome of which will be reported in a DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report which is expected to be published later this year.
The current estimated cost of the preferred option for the Hardmuir to Fochabers section is £800m-£900m (excluding VAT and at 2018 prices). Further details can be found in the A96 Dualling Hardmuir to Fochabers DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report a copy of which can be viewed on the Transport Scotland website at https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/dmrb-stage-2-assessment-report-hardmuir-to-fochabers-a96-dualling/ .
The current estimated cost of the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) section is £375m-£475m (excluding VAT and at 2014 prices). Further details can be found in the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) DMRB Stage 3 Scheme Assessment Report a copy of which can be viewed on the Transport Scotland website at https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/6923/a96-i-n-dmrb-stage-3-report-part-2-vol-1-main-report.pdf .
As the design and preparation of each section of the dualling programme is progressed in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) a more detailed estimate cost for each section will be developed.
At this early stage of development it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of the cost of dualling between Inverness and Aberdeen. However, it is estimated that the cost of dualling will be similar to the dualling of the A9 and be in the region of £3 billion.