Dozens of Bunchrew commuters have been stuck in traffic for hours due to the closure of the only road connecting the village with Inverness.
Locals have been stuck in traffic for a second day in a row after the works at the Bunchrew level crossing on the Far North Line began on Sunday.
Network Rail is upgrading the Bunchrew level crossing, which will not reopen until 09:00 on Sunday, November 19.
Consequently, Englishton Muir road, the only road in and out of the village, has been fully closed, with access only being permitted for emergency vehicles.
On the mornings of Monday and Tuesday, primary and secondary pupils going to school as well as people travelling to work in Inverness were severely affected.
Some drivers from the community, which is about a 15-minute drive from Inverness, were caught in traffic for up to two hours.
It seems that a number of residents only found out about the engineering work when heading out of Bunchrew on Monday morning.
Network Rail apologises for the inconvenience in Bunchrew
Network rail has apologised for the trouble caused by the upgrade works that are being carried out at Bunchrew level crossing.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We apologise for the inconvenience this work will cause and thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
“Our work to upgrade the Bunchrew level crossing is essential to help keep the railway and road users safe.”
The crossing is open during certain times, and outside of the arranged crossing times, we’ll work to allow those needing access to cross when possible.”
Why is work being carried out at Bunchrew level crossing?
Network Rail is investing £1.2m in the Bunchrew level crossing, which will be made safer by replacing the current equipment before it reaches the end of its working life.
The new level crossing will operate in the same way for users at Bunchrew and will now link into the railway’s signalling system.
In addition to the engineering upgrade, Network Rail will also install new anti-trespass guards and repaint the current road markings to improve safety at the crossing.
Lee Ross, Infrastructure Maintenance Delivery Manager for Network Rail, said: “Replacement and upgrade will ensure the crossing remains safe and operates as designed and the safest and quickest way to do what is needed is to close the road.”