The boss of Inverness College has hailed ambitious plans to build a new rail station to serve the city’s campus and biggest retail park.
The Press and Journal revealed last week that local transport chiefs were assessing the possibility of creating a new stop-off on the Inverness to Aberdeen line.
The station could be built near the Inverness Shopping Park, improving access to the site, as well as enhancing links to the UHI campus and Stoneyfield Business Park.
Diane Rawlinson, principal and chief executive of Inverness College UHI, gave her backing to the plans last night.
“A station near to Inverness Campus would be a welcome additional transport option for students and staff,” she said.
“And it would help us strengthen and build on the links we are already making as more and more people come to use our fantastic new facilities at Inverness College UHI.
“We look forward to hearing more about the plans as they develop.”
The rail service in the Highland capital is already due to be upgraded, with half-hourly peak trains scheduled to be introduced between Inverness and Elgin from December 2018.
Bosses at regional transport partnership Hitrans chiefs said that trains from Easter Ross could run through, stopping off at the retail park station, and connect-up the entire Inner Moray Firth area.
The group already reached a major milestone earlier this year as it unveiled long-awaited plans to build a new £2million rail station at Inverness Airport.
Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands director of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said: “I think proposals for a train station at the retail park, serving the Campus, would be of huge benefit. It would be fantastic to see that developed.
“Clearly improvements need to be made on upgrading the Aberdeen-Inverness line to facilitate that, but it would be a great boost and a great improvement.”
Smithton and Culloden Community Council chairman David McGrath said: “I’m quite in favour of it. It would be brilliant if they did a proper job on it.
“The only question is how do we get over the A96? They have got to have a bridge or an underpass and it has got to be disability friendly.”