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Public invited to have say on notorious traffic bottleneck in Inverness

By Scott Maclennan

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Inshes roundabout in Inverness.
Inshes roundabout in Inverness.

A public consultation is under way on long-awaited improvements for a notorious traffic bottleneck in Inverness.

City councillors agreed the local authority should ask the public about options for Inshes roundabout which include a signalised four-way roundabout and aims to encourage more active travel.

The online engagement seeks the views of people on four design proposals – though two have been "sifted out" as unworkable or inadequate – to ease traffic congestion on the roundabout and the wider Inshes transport corridor.

That area includes the eastern approach to the Inshes roundabout on Culloden Road across the A9 flyover, the small access to Inshes retail park, Sir Walter Scott Drive north and south of Inshes roundabout and Old Perth Road past Raigmore Hospital.

Aside from congestion, a major reason for the works is the East Link project linking the A9 and A96 between Inshes and Smithton.

According to Highland Council’s principal engineer Garry Smith and planner Craig Baxter: "Without improvements at Inshes, the East Link road cannot connect into the rest of the network.

"Timescales outlined in the capital programme are aligned to deliver improvements to Inshes in advance of the East Link project, without which, the committed timescales may not be met."

Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans said: "All points lead to Inshes roundabout and if we get it wrong then we get it very wrong for a long time.

"What we are trying to do is retrofit something into the constraints that would include the real estate that we’ve got as well as the existing traffic network.

"My main concern is to do with the uncertainty because it is difficult to have meaningful consultation given that history has shown there are so many unplanned developments being approved on the east side of town.

"We are making assumptions based on guesswork in the hope that there is some restraint within the planning department to stop these developments."

Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael said: "I urge anyone who lives and works in or travels through the Inshes junction area to make sure that you have your say and take part in the online consultation."

To access the consultation, visit this link or call 01349886601.

Related story: New look planned for notorious traffic bottleneck

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