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Lights bring traffic jam chaos on A96

By Laurence Ford

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ANGRY commuters are up in arms over major traffic snarl-ups on one of the Highlands busiest trunk roads.

Tempers are getting frayed and patience is running thin during the rush hour as huge tail-backs form on the A96 Inverness-Nairn road.

For what used to be a relatively easy 20-minute car journey between the Highland Capital and Nairn, has now become a trip of marathon proportions regularly taking in excess of one hour.

Drivers are firmly pointing the finger at roadworks between the Allanfearn turn off and the end of Barn Church Road, where traffic lights have been installed, as the source of the motoring misery.

Regular users of the busy trunk route say nose to tail queues of between two to three miles on either side of the lights are commonplace, and claim less than 10 cars are being allowed through the lights at a time.

One irate motorist who contacted the Highland News said:" At night there is miles of traffic trying to get out of Inverness, and in the morning it is just as bad.

"It seems to me to be sheer incompetence because of the way the traffic lights are set."

And Smithton and Culloden Community Council chairman Dave McGrath said the problem was being exacerbated by commuter traffic coming from the Cawdor, Croy and Nairnside areas cutting down through Balloch on to the A96 to avoid the traffic lights at the site of the new A9 slip road at the Inshes fly-over, and returning home the same way.

"It might all look good on planners’ computer models," he said, "but it is a different story when it comes to the real thing."

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