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Council leaders and NHS Highland welcome bid to transform Inverness roads in response to Covid-19 coronavirus crisis


By Alasdair Fraser

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Pavements may be widened to make it safer for walkers and runners to pass each other while physically distancing.
Pavements may be widened to make it safer for walkers and runners to pass each other while physically distancing.

People are being urged to engage in debate about the plans to transform Inverness roads in response to the public health crisis.

Inverness provost Helen Carmichael urged local people to engage in debate through Highland Council’s consultation portal. She felt measures under consideration could play a significant part in restoring the health and well-being of individuals and the local economy.

Provost Helen Carmichael.
Provost Helen Carmichael.

Cllr Carmichael spoke of “unprecedented challenges” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing: “As we consider ways that people are able to move around, we look to active travel for answers. The Spaces for People funding bid represents a great opportunity to bring positive change for the city in difficult times. I would encourage everyone to join in the conversation.”

Councillor Trish Robertson, chairwoman of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee, said: “A number of key interventions have been identified to assist essential workers on their journey to work, as well as assisting people to maintain physical distancing.

“The temporary measures proposed will enable more active travel in a safer environment and promote opportunities for the re-imagining of our streets, town and city centres as we emerge from this crisis.”

Dan Jenkins of NHS Highland’s health improvement team, said: “Personal safety along key routes of travel is a major concern without adequate provision and segregation for cyclists and pedestrians.

“This application [offers] immediate benefits for mitigation of Covid-19 through improved infrastructure.”

Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) manager Mike Smith said: “Despite the heroic efforts of certain businesses still opening in the city centre, the area has experienced enormous economic damage.

“BID expects a recovery phase staggered over time. It is essential we provide business with all of the best opportunities to open again successfully and viably. Thus we will wait and see what effect these temporary measures have on footfall and businesses in the city centre.”

Related articles: Have your say on Inverness roads revolution

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