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Changes to controversial one-way system around Inverness Castle


By Val Sweeney

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Council officers have been monitoring the system since it was introduced.
Council officers have been monitoring the system since it was introduced.

Changes are to be made to the one-way system around Inverness Castle after concerns were raised about queuing traffic.

The temporary system was introduced as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic to create more space for walking, wheeling and cycling.

But it immediately prompted concerns and objections.

Highland Council and its Spaces for People team has made amendments to address concerns raised by the public about vehicles queuing.

Following close monitoring of active travel use and traffic flows, the junction arrangement at Castle Road and Ness Bridge has been amended to allow left-turning vehicles to filter more efficiently and thus reduce vehicle wait times at the junction.

The essential active travel infrastructure remains intact to support physical distancing during the pandemic.

Highland Council’s head of infrastructure, Colin Howell, said: "The Spaces for People interventions were implemented rapidly as part of an emergency response to a public health crisis.

"We recognise that changes have had to be made after the measures were implemented, and this is the reality of installing emergency traffic management measures.

"We have been constantly monitoring the one-way system since it was implemented and it is delivering the benefits we set out to achieve. However, we want to ensure that it remains in place to continue to give people confidence that the city centre is a safe and welcoming environment to walk and wheel around."

The changes should improve traffic flows in Castle Road and Ness Bridge.
The changes should improve traffic flows in Castle Road and Ness Bridge.

Mr Howell said it was particularly important moving into the festive season when footfall in the city centre tended to increase.

"These amendments will not only continue to support active travel, but will reduce queuing related with the new one-way system," he added.

"Further refinements are being considered at View Place to improve the situation for cyclists and traffic and monitoring of all of the Spaces for People interventions continues."


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