Train station for Inverness Airport approved though councillors flag concerns over accessibility
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The long-awaited two-platform railway station at Inverness Airport has been “reluctantly” granted planning permission by Highland Council.
Network Rail can now progress plans for a new train station close to the biggest and busiest civilian airport in the north.
It is an idea that was mooted around 15 years ago.
The council’s south planning committee questioned the closure of a petty crossing – something that also raised the eyebrows from consulting access groups – and the replacement bridge as it will be inaccessible for disabled people.
Councillor Ben Thomson said the bridge was: “Of such low design standard that it is very disappointing that that is being put forward.
“The addition of a trough to enable those pushing bikes up a set of steps is a very small enhancement to what is really, really low quality infrastructure so I am really frustrated that type of bridge is still being built today.
“This should be a graded ramp at a maximum of three per cent and if it costs a lot more to do it then just do it – in the scheme of the overall rail project it is a very small amount of money.”
“This should be a graded ramp at a maximum of three per cent and if it costs a lot more to do it then just do it – in the scheme of the overall rail project it is a very small amount of money
“I don’t think that is up to the Transport Scotland guidance that was published in July 2020 and I think it is deeply shocking that we are getting infrastructure like that still built.”
But ultimately it was not enough to reject the plan with chairman Jimmy Gray saying that he would “with some reluctance recommend approval” for the application, which was then agreed by all members.
It means Network Rail can now get on with building the station with two platforms alongside associated car and cycle parking, a bus drop-off zone and electric vehicle charging points as well as active travel access.