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Inverness councillor slams Highland Council 'secrecy' after work to improve 'temporary' cycle lanes on a busy city route


By Philip Murray

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The council posted this picture of workers spraying green paint on Millburn Road.
The council posted this picture of workers spraying green paint on Millburn Road.

A FURIOUS councillor has accused Highland Council of "secrecy" and of making controversial road changes "by the backdoor".

Cllr Andrew Jarvie was speaking after the local authority posted an image of workers spraying green paint on 'temporary' cycle lanes on a busy city road.

The council said, on social media, that it was "improving Spaces for People interventions" – the supposedly temporary measures which saw footpaths and cycle lanes widened out onto roads to boost social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic

The councillor has accused the council of running roughshod over local feeling, and of making the changes "without any discussion" while using Covid as a "smokescreen".

Highland Council had posted this morning that: "Work started today on improving the Spaces for People interventions on Millburn Road in Inverness. Green paint is going down to highlight the role of the reallocated lane space for active travel."

Reacting to the post, Cllr Jarvie said: "Council secrecy strikes again! Yet again another major change to this city without any discussion. The first I found out was when I saw this Facebook post showing the work already under way.

"I said at the time this is exactly what would happen, but I was decried as some kind of heretic. It was so obvious, making this road single lane was a previous plan which quietly disappeared after pressure. But suddenly reappeared in the smokescreen of Covid when all councillors were not running the council.

"But of course, when we ask for this to be removed as people continue to not use it and queues get longer, the usual excuse of “it will be too expensive to remove” will come out.

"Why does this council react with shock to people’s scepticism of its proposals, when this secretive way of working keeps happening? I have received so many complaints at this lane which no one seems to use, but now it appears to have been made permanent by the backdoor.

"This surfacing is very expensive, so why is the council spending its precious cash on things people don’t use or want and not on the potholes which ruin our roads?"



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