Moray Council have begun works on a stretch of road close to the monastery which cuts us off from Elgin by the normal route.
The rather brief stretch of road between Pluscarden Kirk and the Village Hall is officially closed to traffic, as work is undertaken to widen and upgrade it. The projected time scale for operations is from Monday 17 September to Friday 12 October.
Diversion signs direct traffic all the way round the Wangie Hill: an 8 mile detour, on narrow and windy roads, via Kellas. This diversion would add at least 20 minutes to any car journey from Elgin to the monastery.
There is an alternative short cut, neatly by-passing the road works, on the access road to Milton and Netherbyre. But part of this is merely a bumpy track, used mostly by tractors. So it could not function as an official diversion route. Someone in an ordinary car would need to approach it with care.
Alternatively: the "Road Closed" sign may not always be strictly accurate. Sometimes it's possible simply to drive on, past the cones and machines, on an open if narrow road.
Anyone coming to Pluscarden by Train or Bus would be well advised to go to Forres rather than Elgin, and take a taxi from there. Access from that side remains unrestricted.
The Council hopes that the works may be accomplished ahead of schedule.