New Dalcross station near Inverness Airport, A9 and A96 dualling and Longman junction scheme among action points in National Transport Strategy Delivery Plan
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Plans to progress the development of a major Inverness junction and deliver new railway stations are set out in the Scottish Government's newly published transport plan.
The Second National Transport Strategy Delivery Plan sets out the actions under way or due to begin this year or next to enhance travel options across the country.
Approximately 70 action points are laid out, aiming to address four main priorities: reducing inequalities, tackling climate change, helping deliver inclusive economic growth and improving health and wellbeing.
Works for developing the new station at Dalcross to serve Inverness Airport and Tornagrain are part of the strategy to connect people and places, with the station set to be delivered by the end of this year.
Development and assessment work of the preferred option for the A9/A82 Longman junction scheme in Inverness is set out among the action points, as well as progress towards the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton development.
The report also contains a commitment to progressing dualling works on the A9, with the procurement of the construction contract for the Tomatin to Moy section expected to be awarded before the end of the year.
The paper states that authorities will "continue to progress design work and the statutory processes for the remaining eight schemes, as well as assessing procurement options."
The delivery plan also contains a commitment to prepare development of the A96 dualling project, including the Nairn Bypass "with a view to completing the statutory process."
Separate work concerns an A96 "Corridor Review" including a plan to review the route with a view to implementing bus priority measures as part of a Transport Scotland moves to achieve net zero by 2045.
Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said: “Two years since the publication of our National Transport Strategy (NTS2) and our first NTS2 Delivery Plan, we continue to make progress in delivering our priorities.
“Our updated plan, published today, continues to guide our decision making and investment priorities.
“Across the country young people can now access free public transport via the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme and we are supporting individuals and business in making healthier and more sustainable travel choices.
"We are tackling head-on the role of transport within the climate emergency whilst recognising the vital role transport continues to play within our day-to-day lives – ensuring we are able to access education, work, training and social activities.
“With many households and businesses facing significant increases to the cost of living, we recognise that transport expenditure poses another – often unavoidable – expense. Our aim is to ensure access to affordable, accessible and sustainable transport across the country.
“We know that the challenges ahead are significant, and that reducing private car use and transitioning to more walking, wheeling or cycling for day-to-day journeys will pose greater challenges for some. However, our actions aim to seize on the opportunities offered as we journey to net-zero and support the necessary changes to provide for safer, healthier and more enjoyable streets, businesses, neighbourhoods and journeys.
“We continue to work across the country to build and grow a sustainable, inclusive, safe and accessible transport system, helping to deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.”
You can read the details of the Second Delivery Plan in full on the Transport Scotland website.