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Proposed improvements at Inverness traffic bottleneck move forward

By Val Sweeney

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Plans to ease congestion at Inshes roundabout in Inverness are moving forward.
Plans to ease congestion at Inshes roundabout in Inverness are moving forward.

Proposed changes at a notorious traffic bottleneck in Inverness have taken a step forward.

Inshes roundabout has a long-standing reputation for its lengthy tailbacks, particularly for city workers during the morning and afternoon commute.

Following a public consultation, Highland Council plans to reduce the number of exits from the roundabout from six to four, controlled by traffic lights.

It has also lodged plans to create three new accesses from the B9006 to Police Scotland’s Highlands and Islands headquarters, Drakies housing estate and Inshes Retail Park.

The new access to the police headquarters will be from Sir Walter Scott Drive while the new access to the retail park will be from Culloden Road and will tie in to a roundabout in the greenspace at Dell of Inshes.

The existing access from Drakies via Old Perth Road to the B9006 will be stopped up and a new access will be constructed linking into Drumossie Avenue.

The aim is to ease congestion as well as encouraging more walking and cycling along the Inshes route corridor including the roundabout.

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Various options were previously considered and a public consultation took place in 2021 when the council's Inverness area committee agreed to proceed with the statutory approvals, planning permission and detailed design of the preferred scheme.

A design statement supporting the planning application acknowledged transport policy had changed in recent years.

"The original focus was to provide greater capacity for vehicles through the junction," it stated.

"A shift towards more sustainable modes of transport has been happening to reduce our carbon footprint.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has provided new opportunities for more rapid change and has pushed people to make healthier, more sustainable travel choices.

"Therefore, policies now have a greater focus on providing more capacity for public transport and active travel methods such as walking and cycling."

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