An Inverness street will become a permanent drop-off zone for coach passengers – despite a warning of “chaos” from a city centre councillor.
Temporary bus bays have been in place near the cathedral on Ardross Street to cater for tourists visiting Inverness on tours since last summer.
Now the council are to start the process of turning the street into a permanent drop-off zone for tourists – and will also appoint a “coach ambassador” jointly with Inverness Bid to monitor the street.
However, Councillor Donnie Kerr, Inverness Central, said that the street’s eleven bays were not enough to cope and there had frequently been “chaos” when multiple coaches tried to drop off passengers at once.
He said that at one point last summer 26 coaches carrying cruise ship passengers had blocked the street, while he also called for greater enforcement to stop coaches parking in Ardross Street overnight.
He said that problems had been caused by cars being left in coach drop-off areas after the cut-off point of 10am – and argued that other locations should be considered before granting a permanent order.
Earlier attempts to find a permanent drop-off ruled out locations at the St Andrew’s Cathedral car park, Church Street, Bank Street and Morrison’s supermarket car park.
Mr Kerr’s ward colleague Janet Campbell supported his amendment sayign she had “misgivings” about making Ardross Street a permanent drop-off.
However, the committee voted 10-7 in favour of starting the process of granting a permanent traffic order for Ardross Street.
Councillor Thomas Prag, Inverness South, argued that not starting the lengthy process of applying for a permenent road order would result in problems later down the line.
He said: “By postponing it all we would do is create a complication later.
“We simply need to grasp the nettle.”