Residents living close to a proposed A96 dualling route have spoken of their concerns – a year on from consultations about the scheme.
One of the two options being considered by Transport Scotland is the violet route, which would be built north of Inverurie.
However, campaigners have raised concern over the route, with it being claimed it would lead to an increase in carbon emissions.
The A96 Action Group, which was set up by those worried about the violet plan, has called on the transport body to upgrade the existing road rather than building a new one.
Those living near the proposed route have spoken of their disappointment and fears.
Ann Morrison from Keithhall, who has a family farm, said: “It came as a total shock to find that one of the options ran right across our land, and was set to take out hundreds of acres from numerous other farms and businesses in the area.
“My first reaction when I saw the options was total shock, as it was quite clear that hundreds of acres of open countryside in the Garioch area would be destroyed.”
John Middler, also from Keithhall, added: “My wife Anne and I bought our property many years ago as our lifelong, peaceful home and business.
“The violet route would remove half our land and loom over our house and premises.
“We can’t make any plans – there’s no point in further investment. It’s a terrible feeling to be utterly powerless over your own life.”
The proposed violet route would also encroach on Fyfe House, a brownie and guide haven. Shirley Milton, chairwoman of Aberdeen Brownie House, said: “We were very disappointed to learn that the A96 proposed violet route would pass within less than 100 metres of Aberdeen Brownie House.”
Meanwhile, Stephen Wood of Keithhall also called for the violet route to be ditched, and said: “Of course people want to see the A96 upgraded and safety improved but the specification of the road and cost must match traffic requirements and available budget.”
As well as damage to properties and businesses, healthcare professionals have stated that if the violet route goes ahead, it would negatively impact the wellbeing of those around it.
Lethenty-based retired GP Dr James Black said: “The proposed violet route would destroy the tranquillity of the countryside; tranquillity is important for health – especially mental health.
“The route would also introduce an unacceptable level of noise pollution in a previously quiet area; noise pollution is associated with increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
“The proposed violet route has many elevated sections which would have a larger noise impact.
“We need to realise as a society that the health of our people is of paramount importance.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We are progressing our ambitious plans to dual the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen which when completed will help tackle congestion, make journey times more reliable and, crucially, improve road safety.
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“The design work for the challenging East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme is well under way. Having let residents see and comment on the initial options last October, we held further engagement events in May for the remaining options being taken forward to the next stage of design and over 1,300 people took the opportunity to come along and view the material with approximately 800 written responses received.
“It is important that we take time to consider all the feedback received, including from the A96 Action Group, as we take forward the options assessment process.
“Due to the high volume of responses, the work to identify a preferred option for the scheme might take until next year to be completed.”