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New routes around Inverness are 'not fit for purpose', says scooter user

By Louise Glen

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A woman who uses a mobility scooter on the controversial Spaces for People route around Inverness says the road is so bumpy, it has almost destroyed her new vehicle.

Catherine Lesslie (50), who spent the lockdown in Inverness looking after her elderly parents in Hilton, demanded more funding for the roads system around the Highland capital to make life easier for the many hundreds of people with mobility issues.

Ms Lesslie said she was appalled at the state of the walkways and areas for disabled people. and her first few miles on a trip to the city centre to pick up prescriptions was almost too much for her new scooter.

Ms Lesslie, from Blairgowrie, said: “I do not know what on earth Highland Council is spending its money on, but it certainly is not the roads.

“I took a trip along Millburn Road and it was like sitting on a pneumatic drill. It was very uncomfortable and although I only bought my new mobility scooter at the start of the lockdown, bits were falling off it due to the bad roads.”

She continued: “At points on my journey around the city I am often forced to go on the road, as the pavements are just not suitable. You can imagine how popular I am because my scooter only goes at 4mph.”

Councillor Andrew Jarvie, a wheelchair user, said Highland Council had been “woefully neglectful’”when it came to providing the cash needed to bring roads up to the standards required by scooter and wheelchair users.

The Inverness South councillor said: “This was something I raised in 2017. There are lots of temporary solutions in place, but that is all so far.

A vocal objector to the Places for People measures introduced in the city around Castle Street and on Millburn Road, he continued: “Highland Council has the wrong priorities. It is not good enough.”

Highland Council failed to comment before we went to press.

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