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Councillor gives a cautious welcome of new stretch of road at A9 Berriedale Braes


By Jean Gunn

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A view from above the new road at Berriedale Braes showing the notorious hairpin bend which is no longer in use. Picture: Derek Bremner
A view from above the new road at Berriedale Braes showing the notorious hairpin bend which is no longer in use. Picture: Derek Bremner

The partial opening of the new road at Berriedale Braes has received a cautious welcome from a Highland councillor.

"I am obviously pleased that this bit of work has been done," Councillor Matthew Reiss said. "The important point is that we will no longer get HGVs stuck on the hairpin bend – that is good news for everyone.

"I welcome the removal of the hairpin bend, which caused lots of delays. However, it is still going to be a challenging bit of road."

Another view of the new road alignment at Berriedale as a lorry makes its way past. Picture: Derek Bremner
Another view of the new road alignment at Berriedale as a lorry makes its way past. Picture: Derek Bremner

Councillor Reiss (Thurso and Northwest Caithness) pointed out that one or two residents from Berriedale had expressed concern about southbound motorists now approaching the sharp left bend after the new A9 road alignment at a faster speed.

He added: "I have been told there are no other actual road improvements planned for the next 10 years."

The £9.6 million upgrade of the Berriedale Braes was due to be completed in the spring, but work by Dingwall-based engineering company RJ Macleod came to a halt during lockdown.

The new carriageway at Berriedale is now operating under a traffic light system. Picture: Derek Bremner
The new carriageway at Berriedale is now operating under a traffic light system. Picture: Derek Bremner

A temporary traffic arrangement was introduced on the southbound lane of the new road overnight on Thursday last week.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "During this temporary arrangement, traffic is running under one-way operation controlled by temporary traffic signals. This phase of the works is to enable the contractor to complete the construction of the northbound side of the new road safely.

Work is still in progress at the Berriedale road scheme with a full opening of both carriageways expected in the coming months. Picture: Derek Bremner
Work is still in progress at the Berriedale road scheme with a full opening of both carriageways expected in the coming months. Picture: Derek Bremner

“The road is anticipated to be opened in the coming months subject to any unforeseen circumstances, such as adverse weather, and with works continuing in compliance with Construction Scotland Restart Model.

“When completed, the scheme will deliver improved journey times and will remove the need for vehicles to slow down to negotiate the previous hairpin bend.”


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