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The top 5 worst roundabouts in Inverness — what do you think?

The Highland capital has many roundabouts - but which one causes the most frustration to drivers?

The Inshes roundabout is often talked about as Inverness's worst junction. But do you agree? Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson
The Inshes roundabout is often talked about as Inverness's worst junction. But do you agree? Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Inverness loves a good roundabout.

Or perhaps more accurately, the planners who put the city’s road network together love them.

Anyone forced to cross the city at rush-hour is likely to have an altogether different view.

It all makes sense in theory. They’re designed to keep traffic moving and ease congestion.

And if you bulldozed the worst offenders and put traffic lights in their place, they’d probably be far worse.

But there’s something about the queues, the wacky lane markings and the wayward indicators that really seem to drive people up the wall.

Here are five of the worst offenders.

Take a look and let us know what you think by voting in our poll at the end of the story.

Inshes roundabout

No messing about, let’s get stuck right in.

This roundabout is a mess.

The good news is there’s a big improvement project on the way.

The bad news is the funding for it might not be available. And even if it does happen, it’s not going to totally fix things.

The Inshes roundabout is one of the busiest in Inverness. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Instead, the best case scenario is that journey times will be more reliable.

Well that’s great. I suppose if you know it’s going to be awful it removes the surprise element.

So why is it so bad?

For starters, there are six exits.

And it’s sandwiched between the city’s main hospital, its main trunk road and a major retail park.

An aerial view showing Inshes roundabout in the centre-right. Image: Highland Council

On the other three sides there is a large housing estate, and roads leading to two of the fastest growing areas in Scotland.

One almost impressive feature of the Inshes roundabout is that it’s regularly a disaster in every single direction.

That leaves plenty of scope for its users to playfully bicker about who has it the worst.

The answer, of course, is the poor souls entering from the Drakies estate.

While everything around the Inshes roundabout has been growing, the junction has stayed roughly the same, creaking more and more as the years go by.

Shore Street roundabout

Inshes and Shore Street are basically the Old Firm of Inverness roundabouts.

Or Caley and Thistle to put a more local spin on it (sorry, Clach).

The big two attract the most ire from city motorists but crucially, they’re also among the busiest.

The difficulty is not as equally distributed here as it is at Inshes.

And the good news that there are only five exits.

But if you’re heading away from the city centre and hoping to join the A82, you’re in for a world of pain.

Particularly if you’re going right towards Rose Street.

Longman roundabout

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Like a Shakin’ Stevens song troubling the top of the charts at Christmas time, this one only makes the list for legacy reasons.

A decade ago, newly-installed traffic lights on the Longman roundabout were the bane of many a commuter’s existence.

A9 roadworks
Queues at the Longman roundabout are common. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

It was bad enough at peak times but incredibly, this junction was actually a shambles for 24 hours a day.

You could turn up at midnight with virtually no other cars in sight and still feel like you were in gridlock.

You’d wait patiently for the first set of lights to change and as soon as you approached the second they’d turn to red.

It was all working perfectly, Transport Scotland repeatedly said.

We can’t only turn them on at peak times, that would be insanity.

Changes were made to the traffic light sequencing after years of complaints. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Then one day, the lights broke.

And everything worked a million times better than usual.

A period of mourning was observed by north commuters when they were “fixed” again, before Transport Scotland finally agreed to examine the sequencing.

They changed it about and hey, now it works so much better.

But we must never forget.

Harbour Road roundabout

Turning right onto Longman Road can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare but generally, this one stacks up pretty well.

Its small central island gives plenty of room to manoeuvre but also invites it to be one of the city’s fastest.

The Harbour Road roundabout. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

The large volume of traffic it sees can make it a bit daunting for learners but all in all, it seems to work pretty well.

It needs to add another two arms if it wants to compete with the big boys.

Do you agree with our top five? Read on to take part in our poll and let us know about any other notorious roundabouts in the comment section below

Millburn roundabout

Let’s call this one our Nostradamus pick.

On the face of it, the Millburn roundabout really doesn’t create enough angst to merit inclusion among the city’s worst.

But the adjacent rail crossing has the potential to put your best-laid plans in a blender.

Hit this one at the wrong time and you’ll be punished for not choosing a more sustainable mode of transport.

The Millburn roundabout is easy to use – if you time it right. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Aside from that, it’s mostly OK.

However, it’s one that could very quickly unravel if plans to restrict traffic on Academy Street go ahead as planned.

That would leave thousands of vehicles having to cross the city centre a different way and this roundabout would be in the firing line.

Highland Council is adamant the city would not grind to a halt in those circumstances.

But not everyone is convinced.

Honourable mentions

While perhaps not deserving of their own section, there are plenty of other contenders that drive people up the wall in Inverness.

The mini-roundabouts that connect Inshes and Milton of Leys are so mini that most people just drive over the top of them, causing alarm and confusion for those actually following the Highway Code.

If the Coke truck ever comes back to the city or it’s the Saturday before Christmas, the retail park’s roundabouts effectively become open-air parking garages.

And if Belladrum’s starting tomorrow, it’s in your best interest to get as far away as possible from the Telford Street roundabout.

What do you think?

We want to know what our readers think about our top five, which one do you think brings on the worst road rage?