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Are traffic lights at Friar's Bridge in Inverness too close to roundabout?

By Gregor White

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Rhoda Grant at Friars Bridge.
Rhoda Grant at Friars Bridge.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has raised constituents' concerns about traffic lights close to a busy Inverness roundabout.

Having been contacted by a constituent about concerns that the lights are too close to the Telford Street roundabout, former Labour MSP David Stewart, raised the matter with the Scottish Government in 2018/2019, Mrs Grant said.

However the onset of Covid in early 2020 stalled any progress and Mr Stewart retired in 2021.

Now picking up the baton Mrs Grant said: “There are arguments for not moving the lights beyond the Aldi junction, however what concerned residents want to see are the lights moved back slightly, to just before the entrance to the Aldi supermarket.

"This would alleviate the concerns that drivers are focussing on clearing the roundabout while still leaving the crossing within an acceptable distance for people to walk to.”

Having chased up the matter with Transport Scotland earlier this year, Mrs Grant said she was told that: “The existing pedestrian crossing locations between Longman Road Roundabout and Telford Street Roundabout will be reviewed as part of an Active Travel Scheme for improved pedestrian and cycling facilities along this section of the A82.

"It is programmed to investigate and design this scheme in 2023/24, with construction in the following years.

"Construction will be dependent upon available budgets and schemes need prioritised on merit against other proposed Active Travel measures.”

She contacted Transport Scotland again this month asking for an update including whether the investigation and design on the scheme had taken place yet or, if not, when it was expected.

She said she was then told: “The active travel scheme between Longman Road Roundabout and Telford Street Roundabout is currently on hold as the Highland Bus Partnership are undertaking work to look at potential bus priority and active travel on the A82 Longman Road as well as supporting mobility hubs, or park and rides, using funding from Transport Scotland’s Bus Partnership Fund.”

She said that she was further advised that “the extent of proposals being looked at have been refined and do not extend as far as the junction of concern” but “Transport Scotland has instructed BEAR (BEAR Scotland, which is responsible for the maintenance of trunk roads) to investigate and recommend what measures can be implemented in the short-term to alleviate the concerns”.

Mrs Grant said: “I understand that feedback from a public exhibition held by Transport Scotland in the Cameron Youth Centre on August 30, 2018 highlighted that some of the 100+ people who attended the exhibition also voiced concerns about the closeness of the lights to the roundabout.

"The plan then was to include consideration of relocating the controlled crossing or upgrading the path underneath Friar’s Bridge and I will be keeping a close eye on the investigations that have been promised to make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists."

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