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Delays see £500,000 added to cost of new Inverness Campus bridge


By Val Sweeney

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The bus and cycle bridge at Inverness Campus is due to be opened up.
The bus and cycle bridge at Inverness Campus is due to be opened up.

A new bridge opened in Inverness for walkers, cyclists, scooters and wheelchair users has cost an additional £500,000 following delays over a legal agreement.

The north bridge, linking Inverness Campus with Inverness Shopping Park, was originally due to be completed last summer but work was halted after it emerged a legal agreement between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Network Rail and Highland Council had not been finalised.

The cost of the structure, which crosses the main Inverness-Perth railway line, has now risen from £2.7 million to £3.2 million.

It is being funded by HIE and the Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme.

Following the coronavirus lockdown, the bridge is expected to open to buses but will not be open to taxis or private vehicles.

It is expected to make it easier for some NHS Highland employees travelling between Raigmore Hospital and Stoneyfield.

Dan Jenkins, senior health improvement specialist with NHS Highland, said the opening of the bridge was extremely welcome and complemented the range of active travel initiatives provided for staff.

“Along with many other workers, shoppers and recreational users, we look forward to many more active journeys from here on,” he said.

Ruaraidh Macneil, HIE’s campus project director, said it would extend low-carbon travel options.

“The new north bridge enhances the excellent footpaths and cycleways already in place,” he
said.

“It offers better links between the retail and business park, the campus and other parts of the city, and encourages active travel.”

He added that HIE was pleased to be helping to ensure that people could walk, cycle and wheel during the public health emergency while physically distancing and keeping safe from traffic.

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