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Highland MSP backs Black Isle community calls over road safety fears

By Philip Murray

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Kate Forbes (inset) has backed community calls for action to improve road safety issues in Tore.
Kate Forbes (inset) has backed community calls for action to improve road safety issues in Tore.

Safety concerns have been raised in a Black Isle community amid fears that the narrow road and increasing traffic are an accident waiting to happen.

MSP Kate Forbes has vowed to raise the issue in Tore with Highland Council after being contacted by the concerned community council.

There have been long running concerns in the village over the road layout on the eastern A832 approach to the roundabout.

In Killearnan Community Council's recent newsletter, it said it had raised concerns with Highland Council, Transport Scotland, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Ms Forbes over the Tore Roundabout and the A832 between that busy junction and the filling station in the village.

It said: "[They] have been informed of the increasing safety hazards to traffic leaving and accessing the A9 Tore roundabout from the A832 east where the road narrows to a bottleneck and electric and lamp posts are situated close to the road."

It added that it had concerns that plans for a new EV charging facility at the filling station will "exacerbate the hazards" through increased traffic and it concluded: "A positive response has been received from Ms Forbes stating an intention to pursue the matter with Transport Scotland and Highland Council."

The concerns over the A832 through Tore come hot on the heels of news that Transport Scotland is planning to reduce the speed limit of the A9 and A835 approach roads to the Tore Roundabout. Public consultation is currently under way over plans to reduce those approaches to 40mph – down from the current 60mph and 70mph limits.

However, Highland Council has confirmed that its road safety team are "not aware of any moves" to introduce new reductions on the A832 approaches, which – as they are not designated as trunk roads – are maintained by the local authority instead of Holyrood.

Road safety concerns were also among the issues raised by one worried resident last month, who had raised her own objections over plans for an EV charging facility and associated parking on land between her home and the village's filling station.

Although her primary concerns were centred on a loss of privacy and worries about a fire risk, she also cited the increase in traffic that such a facility might prompt – the latter of which also concerns the community council.

Responding to the community council's call for improved road safety measures in Tore, Kate Forbes MSP said: “I recently received concerns from local residents, particularly around the siting of a new pole on what is a very narrow as well as busy stretch of road between Tore roundabout and the filling station.

“I have raised this with Highland Council and await a substantive response.

“With the growth in the Inner Moray Firth area generally, and especially on the Black Isle, I am aware that the roads are becoming busier.

“Transport Scotland have previously said they believe that the speed limit on all approaches to the roundabout need to be reduced in the interests of safety, particularly for pedestrians crossing the dual carriageway, and I have sought a further update from them on this point.”

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