The family of a grandmother who died after being hit by a car at a notorious Inverness junction have hit out at delays to make safety improvements.
Phoebe Mackenzie died in February 2019 after being knocked down while walking at the Raigmore Interchange.
The tragic accident sparked a campaign from former Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart to make improvements in the area.
However, concerns have now been raised about the lack of a firm date from Highland Council about when works will be completed.
‘Surely it’s time to give a date?’
Safety concerns surrounding the southbound A9 Perth road slip road have centred on the lack of traffic lights for the large amount of traffic.
Highland Council has drawn up a programme to address concerns at 12 junctions and pedestrian crossings across Inverness, including at Raigmore Interchange.
However, a date for completion is yet to be confirmed – but the authority expects design work to be ready by the end of the calendar year.
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant said Mrs Mackenzie’s family has been “angered” by the delay while she also has concerns herself.
She said: “People are still concerned about safety there and her former husband is very angry about the delay and you can understand why.
“Surely, it is time to give a date and stick to it?
“After all, this has been going on for years and we still haven’t seen a solution to the south bound slip road having no pedestrian crossing linked to traffic lights to stop the traffic flow and make it safer.”
Some improvements already under way
Some improvements have already been made at the notorious roundabout, which provides connections between Inverness, the A9 and A96 Aberdeen road.
Transport Scotland has implemented a new 30mph speed limit at the roundabout while design work for a new pedestrian route and cycle route at the junction is due to start.
Meanwhile, the government agency says it has offered to meet Mrs Grant to discuss the proposals.
A spokesman said: “First and foremost our thoughts and condolences are with the family and loved ones of Mrs Mackenzie.
“We are in regular contact with those who are dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy and are keen to play our part in helping to progress the project to install traffic lights at Raigmore Interchange.
“All temporary measures, including a new 30mph speed limit at the roundabout, have been implemented. The detailed design of the new pedestrian and cycle route through the junction is due to start following a sifting of options by the project group, which includes Highland Council and Sustrans.
“In previous correspondence with Mrs Grant we have offered to meet to provide more detail on the proposals and that offer remains open.”
A Highland Council spokesman said: “The Highland Council has responded to Rhoda Grant and explained its position.
“Funding through the Scottish Government Places for Everyone was increased in April enabling an improved scheme. Transport Scotland has confirmed that Bear Scotland will appoint a team from Jacobs to progress the detailed design of the active travel corridor through Raigmore.
“They can complete the design, drawings, specification and contract tender documentation by the end of the calendar year. This team will work in partnership with Transport Scotland, Highland Council and Sustrans to ensure the active travel link is delivered.”