Lochaber residents are celebrating as work began on a crossing to connect the two halves of their village after a five-year long campaign.
The crossing, over a road that has become increasingly busy and dangerous due to a busy saw mill and tourist traffic, has been almost unanimously welcomed – aside from a few moans about the lack of parking while the five week work on the Road to the Isles, the A830 Fort William to Mallaig.
Kilmallie Community Council chairwoman Christine Hutchison said: “We have had a long running campaign focusing on three areas where we were concerned about safety.
“We began in November 2014, calling our campaign, Slower Safer Smilier and it has three objectives road safety at the school, a crossing across the A830 and pedestrian safety at the swing bridge over the Caledonian Canal.
“We wanted children going to school to be safer, Banavie School Parent Council took on this part of the campaign and got a readjustment to the road layout and have a crossing-patrol woman.
“The A830 has become a very busy road and elderly people or people who were not able to cross the road quickly were finding it increasingly difficult to get over the road. We have discussed this with Transport Scotland, and looked over plans.
“What we have going in, is the best that we could get – we know it isn’t perfect but it is something that will improve road safety for people. We are getting the crossing fitted in the centre of Corpach from one side of the road to the other – and we recognised that the Co-op was a draw for people.
“Transport Scotland have worked closely with the community council, and we agreed these plans with them. There are many considerations of things that we have to do.”
Councillor Ben Thomson congratulated the Slower Safer Smilier campaign: “This is a good outcome for the community who have worked hard to achieve this.
“While there are concerns about parking in the short term, in the long term this is a good thing for the community.”
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The group are still working on pedestrian safety at the swing bridge.
Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative, said: “Road safety is a top priority at BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland, and this scheme on the A830 in Corpach is part of our commitment to improving pedestrian facilities on the trunk road network.
“The new controlled crossing facility in Corpach will allow users to safely cross this section of the A830 helping to improve road safety for the community.”