Right turns will be banned coming out of the notorious Munlochy junction on the A9 from Sunday night.
Highland Council made a legal order to stop traffic from going north on the A9 from the B9161 junction in light of its reputation as one of the Highlands’ worst accident blackspots.
The road has become an area of concern for road users, urging Transport Scotland to install a number of road safety improvements including street lighting and central reserve safety barriers.
A more permanent solution is to be put in place now though, with a kerbed traffic island to be constructed by mid-2023. This will reduce turning manoeuvres at the junction and simplify its layout.
Temporary barriers and signage will be put in place by Bear Scotland at the junction at 11pm on Sunday in time for the official ban to come into force the next day.
These will remain in place until the kerbed island is complete.
From then, traffic exiting the B9161 onto the A9 will need to travel south on the A9 and use the grade separated junction at North Kessock to access the A9 northbound carriageway.
A different route using the U2723 Tore to Artafallie road that runs parallel to the A9 is also available and will be used next year, but it is currently undergoing works by Scottish Water.
Works to build the island will take place overnight to reduce the impact on traffic, but there will be a temporary speed limit of 30mph as well as lane closures.
Reducing accident risk
Locals have become used to hearing about accidents at the Munlochy junction on the A9, but it is hoped the ban on right turns will change things.
In 2021, almost one near miss a minute was recorded by independent investigators tasked with assessing safety on the stretch of road.
Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s north west representative, said: “We are keen to have these important road safety measures installed as soon as practicable to reduce conflicts and accident risk at this busy junction and make it easier for drivers.
“The introduction of these measures builds upon the work already carried out at Munlochy junction. Road safety is a top priority for Bear Scotland, Transport Scotland and Highland Council, and this scheme on the A9 at Munlochy junction is part of our commitment to improving road safety on the trunk road network.”
The main photograph on this article was changed on 17/11/2022 after some readers pointed out it could wrongly be interpreted as an illustration of the specific manoeuvre being prevented by the changes.