Published: 10/02/2019 07:00 - Updated: 08/02/2019 16:36

Safety fears over Academy Street revamp proposals

Written byNeil MacPhail


Academy Street
An artist's impression of what Academy Street would look like if the proposed changes to the city centre go ahead.

Plans to develop Academy Street have hit a snag with an objection from a disability group.

The coalition, led by the Royal National Institute for the Blind Scotland, fears that the proposed removal of light and sound controlled pedestrian crossings will be a danger to pedestrians with sight loss and other disabilities.

Similar fears over areas where the street will be raised to the same level as pavements have been highlighted to Highland Council by Putting Inverness Streets Ahead.

 It says that despite proposals to introduce a speed limit of 15-20 mph there could be danger to some pedestrians.

Catriona Burness, RNIB campaigns manager said: “The absence of controlled crossings may have an undesirable impact on all road-users, from vehicle traffic and cyclists to pedestrians.

 “The council plans propose replacing controlled crossings with either zebra crossings or ‘courtesy crossings’ which both depend on visual contact between pedestrians and drivers to negotiate a safe right of way.

 “We don’t support the removal of controlled crossings and are concerned by the expanse of levelled shared surfaces.”

Inverness councillor Bet McAllister vowed to speak to the coalition, adding: “The lights could be a problem. Perhaps two of the existing four crossings could be left.”

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