A well used Inverness footpath which has been undergoing maintenance has had its re-opening delayed.
The popular Raining Stairs pathway, which connects Ardconnel Street to Castle Street in the city, has been temporarily closed since early June for a much needed facelift.
But it was supposed to be finished by the middle of July and now Highland Council has intimated that an extended restriction period is required until August 6.
However Highland Council were unable to explain why the well used route between Castle Street and the Hill and Crown areas is still closed.
Councillor Bet McAllister said she is disappointed it is taking so long to complete and would be making inquiries.
She added: “I had hoped it would be finished by now and I know it was badly needing done on safety grounds
Councillor McAllister, who is also vice-chairwoman of Highland Council’s community services committee, said that the improvements were crucial because the Raining Stairs were not only used by walkers to get into the town but were also a feature of the city centre itself.
The £20,000 improvement works started on Monday, June 9 but were only expected to last between three and four weeks.
The Central Ward Discretionary Fund is contributing £6,500 to the costs.
The closure of the footpath is to ensure the essential maintenance and improvement works can be carried out safely.
The Raining Stairs has looked decidedly run-down for years now, after plans put forward for a major development there came to nothing.
But for now, pedestrians will need to keep using alternative routes such as via Market Brae Steps, know as the “Boots Steps,” or Castle Street and Gordon Terrace to Ardconnel Street.
The project involves the reinstatement of drainage channels, repairs to steps and their under pinning, the painting of railings, graffiti removal, power washing and weed removal.
The Highland Council advised pedestrians at the time that a temporary closure would be put in place on the whole or parts of this popular walking route until the works were completed. Footpath Closed signs were then erected and walkers were asked to take an alternative route.