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3-vehicle Inverness crash highlights need for safety measures, councillor argues

By Philip Murray

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Cllr Duncan Macpherson has called for and end to delays for new traffic lights at a notorious junction after another crash on Sunday.
Cllr Duncan Macpherson has called for and end to delays for new traffic lights at a notorious junction after another crash on Sunday.

Long-running calls for lower speed limits and other safety measures at notorious junctions in an Inverness neighbourhood have resurfaced after a crash on Sunday.

The junction of Caulfield Road and Tower Road was closed after three vehicles collided at around 12.25pm on Sunday.

It is not yet known what caused the crash, but an Inverness councillor believes the collision itself has served as a reminder, not just of the area's growing reputation as an accident black spot – but also of the long delay in installing traffic lights at the site.

And he has called for action to reduce speed limits on Tower Road amid fears that the existing 40mph limit and the large number of housing developments that turn onto it are risking motorist and pedestrian safety.

Cllr Duncan Macpherson, who represents the Inverness South ward, said: “I along with my ward councillor colleagues have been calling on the council’s road safety officers for speed restrictions on Tower Road from the present 40mph, down to 30mph – as Tower Road has so many junctions linking to its many housing developments and this junction with Caulfield Road in Cradlehall is now becoming a regular accident black spot.

“This junction, along with the main Tower Road junction have seen multiple traffic collisions for the past few years, where it joins the B9006 Culloden Battlefield Road – which the Highland Council has acknowledged needs improvements and I managed to get the funding ring-fenced for its construction.

“In recent years the Highland Council would normally manage to get a set of traffic lights installed at a similar size of road junction for around £250,000.

“Unfortunately the £300,000 that was allocated to improve the junction with traffic lights (paid for from housing developer contributions), hasn’t been implemented in time and because of the delays of over two years and an apparent lack of serious competition from contractors to win the Highland Council contracts has seen the local authority being quoted closer to half a million pounds for the completion of the traffic light project!

“The Highland Council needs to get a much larger pool of interested contractors (preferably Highland-based companies, employing Highland council tax-paying tradespeople), to quote for the work to install traffic lights.

"Then those interested in getting this valuable work and business profit opportunity, need to sharpen their pencils and offer the best value-for-money to the council on behalf of the hardworking and hard-pressed Highland taxpayers.”

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