Campaigner have hit out over dualling plans for the A96 amid fears more traffic will use the road, increasing air pollution.
Transport Scotland is currently reviewing options to build a new A96 route east of Huntly with several possible options being considered for the area near Inverurie.
Campaign group A96 Action has made repeated calls for the Scottish Government body to upgrade the existing route instead.
Dr Astley Hastings, a member of the group who has been studying the potential environmental impact, fears a new road will increase greenhouse emissions.
And he says this would contradict Government targets to reduce gas emissions in Scotland by 2050.
He said: “I am dismayed by Scottish Government’s lack of coherent policies in planning the future of our country.
“On the one hand they declare a climate emergency and legally bind us to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland by 2050, while on the other, they pursue transport infrastructure policies which will actually increase emissions.
“The new A96 road is designed for a minimum transport density of 40,000 movements a day.
“As the current A96 has an average of 10,000 movements a day for most of the route, the specification is complete overkill.”
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A decision on the preferred route round Inverurie is expected to be made by the end of the year.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “All major projects within the Scottish Government’s transport portfolio are subject to significant assessment work to ensure we deliver the right schemes and minimise impacts on the environment and our ambitious A96 Dualling programme is no exception to that.
“We need to balance the extensive changes required to meet a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions with our duty to ensure that Scotland has high quality infrastructure to meet the needs of all our residents, businesses and visitors.
“We are investing over £1 billion per year in public and sustainable transport to encourage people onto public transport.”