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Proposals to tackle notorious Highland roundabout bottleneck to be considered by Highland councillors after hundreds of responses from public


By Val Sweeney

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The proposed scheme includes creating a signalised four-way roundabout by reducing the number of vehicular access points.
The proposed scheme includes creating a signalised four-way roundabout by reducing the number of vehicular access points.

Proposals to tackle traffic congestion at a notorious bottleneck in the Highland capital are set to move forward.

City councillors will be asked to give the go-ahead to proceed to the next stage of design development for Inshes roundabout and the surrounding roads.

It follows a public consultation which attracted almost 600 responses.

The proposed scheme includes creating a signalised four-way roundabout by reducing the number of vehicular access points from Drakies to Old Perth Road plus a new access into Inshes Retail Park.

A report to be presented by officers to the Inverness area committee seeks approval to proceed with the statutory approvals, planning permission and detailed design of the scheme.

It also recommends controversial plans for a new link road from Sir Walter Scott Drive at the “Eagle” roundabout to Drakies be removed from the proposed scheme.

The report states: “The improvements planned for Inshes junction are essential to ensure a coordinated approach with the planned Transport Scotland A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton project (East Link).

“Both are committed Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal projects.

“Without improvements at Inshes, the East Link road cannot connect into the rest of the network.”

The scheme’s budget relies on developer contributions and the land required may need a compulsory purchase order.

Issues raised during the consultation, which prompted 590 items of correspondence, will be considered further during the next stage of design development.

They include concerns that none of the proposals address traffic issues associated with past, current and future development on the south side of Inverness and that the development of additional housing would lead to more congestion and increased traffic.

Officers respond: “It is accepted that creating more capacity in the road network is not the answer and the scheme therefore seeks to manage the traffic more efficiently on the existing network.”

They also state: “The six-arm roundabout does not perform well under existing or future conditions.

“Reduction to four arms creates opportunities to improve the capacity of the junction and manages the traffic flows more efficiently.”

Improved cycle provision will be provided.

The report says some tree felling will be required for the scheme.

“This will be considered during the planning application and any mitigation planting will be defined within the planning conditions,” it states.


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