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CCTV and bridge safety improvements considered for Kessock Bridge

kessock bridge incident
Safety improvements have resumed between Kessock Bridge and the B9161 Munlochy Junction. Picture by Sandy McCook/ DC Thomson

Safety improvements and better CCTV could be installed on Kessock Bridge to better protect vulnerable people.

There have been six closures of the crossing in recent weeks due to concerns for a person.

Each closure causes gridlock across Inverness.

Inverness South councillor Duncan Macpherson believes CCTV cameras could help reduce that disruption, while also helping emergency services assist those on the bridge.

The spate of recent closures have caused concern about a growing mental health crisis in the Highlands.

He suggested the Inverness Common Good Fund could pay for them, arguing it would be “unthinkable” for other bridges like the Queensferry Crossing not to have cameras.

Mr Macpherson said: “One answer to A9 Kessock Bridge closures is to have CCTV cameras on the bridge to safeguard vulnerable individuals.

“These cameras would be linked to Inverness police control room, which is currently operated by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund.

“On Friday night, Bear Scotland said an accident occurred on Beauly Road and another near Tore Roundabout as a consequence of detours for frustrated drivers, causing further delays.

“More needs to be done at government level to invest in mental healthcare and to support the NHS and adult social services, in order to help and protect vulnerable individuals at most difficult times like these.”

Police and other agencies are looking at ways to improve the safety of the Kessock Bridge, amid a spate of closures sparked by mental health concerns. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Feasibility study for bridge improvements

Police in the Highlands recently called a meeting to discuss a recent spike in incidents at the Kessock Bridge.

Now they have confirmed a range of options are being considered, with Transport Scotland being tasked with carrying out a feasibility study into improvements and better CCTV.

Superintendent Jenny Valentine, chairwoman of Highland suicide prevention steering group, said: “It is important to address every incident which has led to the closure of the Kessock Bridge on its own terms.

“There are a unique set of circumstances behind every single instance and it is important that a number of different agencies consider the factors involved in order to deliver long-term solutions and to ensure individuals involved get the support they require.”

Agencies involved in the talks include NHS Highland, Transport Scotland, Bear Scotland, the RNLI, Inverness-based mental health charity Mikeysline and the Samaritans.

Supt Valentine added: “A number of approaches are being considered and being actively progressed including a feasibility study commissioned by Transport Scotland into physical options for bridge safety and improved CCTV cameras on the bridge.

“This is alongside work by the wider Suicide Prevention Steering Group to ensure that individuals can access the right support at the right time.”

The RNLI are part of the multi-agency talks about the Kessock Bridge. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Ongoing compassion and understanding

Chief Inspector Judy Hill, Inverness area commander, said she was “acutely aware” of the impact that closing the Kessock Bridge has on the wider community in Inverness and the surrounding area.

She said: “It is not something that is done lightly.

“However, it is essential to ensure the safety of everyone involved when responding to an incident on the bridge.

“We appreciate the support and understanding of the wider public and know they share in our desire to deliver sustainable long-term solutions.”

Highland Council leader Raymond Bremner said: “We share the concerns expressed by the wider community about the incidents that have led to the recent closures of the Kessock Bridge.

“We are working with our partners to develop solutions to help the individuals involved get the support they need but also to address the impact the closure of the bridge is having on the wider community.

“Work is ongoing and we hope to share potential solutions with the wider public in the coming weeks.  We do thank the wider public for their ongoing compassion and understanding.”

Help is out there

Anyone who is struggling and need of someone to talk can call The Samaritans free on 116 123 or e-mail

Alternatively call Breathing Space on 0800 838587, or text Mikeysline on 07786 207755.

There is also Prevent Suicide – Highland app: This easy-to-use app helps you safety plan should you ever find yourself in distress, feeling hopeless or suicidal in the future.