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Traffic light plan being discussed with 'urgency' over Inverness accident hot spot on the B9006 at junction of Culloden Road and Tower Road

By Louise Glen

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The junction where Tower Road meets Culloden Road: Ken Gowans, Councillor. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The junction where Tower Road meets Culloden Road: Ken Gowans, Councillor. Picture: James Mackenzie.

TRAFFIC lights are being discussed "with urgency" for an accident hot spot in Inverness.

At a business meeting of Inverness city councillors after a series of serious accidents in Westhill on the Tower Road junction with the B9006 on Culloden Road, it was agreed that a plan for traffic lights would be progressed.

Council officers are now said to be "looking at every option" to make the area safe for drivers.

Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans said: "At a ward business meeting held last week it was agreed that we will instal traffic lights.

"The work will need to be properly evidenced for council members, but after a series of accidents in the same area, we need to do something with urgency.

"A video survey of the area can be implemented as soon as possible."

He continued: "This is causing serious concerns to local residents. They have highlighted poor visibility on the road, due to a low winter sun. In the afternoons the sun shines along the road, making it difficult to see what is coming.

"Residents want more safety measures in the area, and these will be discussed and implemented in sensible incremental change to improve road safety."

Cllr Duncan Macpherson.
Cllr Duncan Macpherson.

Fellow ward councillor Duncan Macpherson said: "Tower Road Junction with the B9006 Culloden Road at Westhill in Inverness was the scene of yet another road traffic collision last week.

"The two vehicle accident involved an Audi A4 Avant Estate and a Renault Van and occurred at around 8.30am on Friday morning.

"This latest incident comes only one week after a driver had to be cut free from a blue Ford Ranger pick-up at the same spot.

The junction where Tower Road meets Culloden Road: Ken Gowans, Councillor. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The junction where Tower Road meets Culloden Road: Ken Gowans, Councillor. Picture: James Mackenzie.

"Ward councillors met with road safety officers from Highland Council on Thursday afternoon to discuss the urgent need for safety improvements at this accident black spot junction.

"A full site survey has been completed which will enable road designers to draw up the best layout to solve the recurring problems for motorists at this very busy junction."

He added: "Traffic speed monitoring has taken place on the approach road either side of the junction, as residents in nearby Brinkman Terrace have voiced their concerns at the speed of traffic as children attempt to cross the B9006 road for going to and from primary school and to access the play parks.

"Members were informed that a full camera survey is about to be launched, to give officials the evidence based information required to make the safety improvements needed at this notorious junction.

"Speed reduction measures are being considered to reduce the speed from 60 to 50mph from Culloden Battlefield traffic, down to 40mph at Nairnside and hopefully to 30mph around this junction.

"Existing traffic speeds on this stretch of road average at 45-47mph in the 40 zone."

He continued: "The vast majority of the public would like the safety guarantee which traffic lights provide, especially as seen at the next junction downhill at Cradlehall, where virtually no accidents occur.

"I asked planners last year for developer contributions from the forthcoming development of 300 new houses at Balloch to go towards the costs involved in upgrading the junction to make it safer. I was given the assurance that the full funding would be provided and ring fenced from these monies, to create a fit-for-purpose safe junction at Tower Road.

"Low sunlight is often a contributing factor to collisions at this junction, however today that wasn’t the case, as the sky was cloudy.

"Thankfully those involved in Friday’s collision were not seriously injured, although the airbags fully inflated on the Audi Estate car."

READ: Slow down! Parents and Highland councillors in Inverness call for residential street speed reduction after child injured while out playing in Milton of Leys

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