An Inverness man has drawn up his own plans for an alternative route of a new road to the east of the city.
William Aitken says his proposal for the East Link would be a “more obvious” approach – and would also help save a row of 100-year-old trees at risk of being chopped down to make way for the road.
Transport Scotland said that they were taking into account comments from the public as they consider their preferred option for the road.
Mr Aitken, 65, first became involved with the project after putting placards and warning tape on a row of oak trees lining Caulfield Road North.
The retired construction manager said that Transport Scotland staff had indicated that the the trees, each over a century old, would have to be removed to widen the narrow route to make way for the new single carriageway road.
The East Link will eventually connect the A9 near Inshes with the A96 at a cost of between £25million and £65million.
Mr Aitken’s proposal involves relocating a roundabout from Transport Scotland’s plans just over 300ft to the west onto farmland between Caulfield Road North and Inverness Campus.
He floated the idea at a public meeting held by residents to the east of the city about the roads plan where it was generally well received.
He has now submitted it to Transport Scotland for their consideration.
The agency is currently collecting public views on the project after a series of public exhibitions.
Mr Aithken said: “Moving the roundabout down into the field there would protect the trees and leave Caulfield Road North as a quiet country lane.
“Transport Scotland the council would still have their link road, everybody would be happy.
“It seems like the obvious solution to me.”
Last week more than 50 people attended a public meeting in Cradlehall after Mr Aitken’s efforts to raise awareness about the road and the impact on the well established row of trees.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Building on the A9/A96 Connections Study which was completed last year, we have recently consulted with local communities on six potential options for the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton Link Road which will improve the road network around Inverness and improve road safety for all users.
“We thank the local community for their feedback from the successful public exhibitions and are now considering their comments as we work towards identifying a preferred route option next year.”