Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Could this new plan bring an end to traffic chaos at Longman Roundabout?

The Longman roundabout outside Inverness.
The Longman roundabout outside Inverness.

Engineers are poised to start drawing up detailed plans for a multimillion-pound flyover at the worst traffic bottleneck in Inverness.

Transport chiefs have confirmed to the Press and Journal that design work for the long-awaited scheme at the Longman Roundabout will get under way this summer.

Consultants are being appointed by Transport Scotland to take forward a project that aims to finally end gridlock misery for motorists at the junction where the A9 meets the A82.

The flyover at the southern end of the Kessock Bridge is expected to be similar in design to the Raigmore Interchange, with options to be drawn up over the next 15-18 months.

The P&J understands that officials from Highland Council have already held talks with Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC about how the project will affect their stadium, which is next to the roundabout.

The Scottish Government has set aside £107million to progress the flyover, known as a “grade separation”, and the city’s new “East Link”, which will connect the A9 and A96 between Inshes and Smithton.

Both projects were included in the £315million Inverness City Region Deal, which was signed off in January by representatives of Highland Council, and the UK and Scottish governments.

Local politicians last night hailed the progress of the flyover scheme, which has long been viewed as a solution to rush hour congestion at the roundabout.

Highland Labour MSP David Stewart said: “I’m obviously delighted we’re getting a flyover, it’s really good news. We know it’s an extremely difficult choke point in our transport system.

“It’s not going to give immediate respite to motorists because of the length of time it will take, but it’s very positive that it’s coming.”

City SNP MP Drew Hendry said: “Understandably there is a lot of frustration about the bottleneck issues at the Longman, so it is welcome news that there is to be progress on this over the coming months.

“Tackling traffic issues in and around the city must be a priority, and I am glad to see the City Deal investment put to good use, to alleviate the situation – benefiting those who live and work here, as well as visitors to the city.”

The flyover would take vehicles crossing the Kessock Bridge up and over a roundabout that has become a notorious pinch-point, with official data showing traffic on the bridge has increased by as much as two-thirds in the past 20 years.

Traffic lights were installed at the roundabout but have proved controversial, with many motorists claiming they have exacerbated the problems.

Transport Scotland is also currently consulting on three options for the new East Link, which aims to cut congestion in the city by joining up with the West Link to enable drivers to bypass the city centre if they want to travel from the A82 Fort William road to the A96 Aberdeen road.

The agency is expected to make a final decision on its preferred route later this year.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “As part of the Inverness and Highlands City-Region Deal significant investment will be made in the trunk road network to deliver the grade separation of the A9/A82 Longman junction and the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton Link Road to improve congestion and accessibility to Inverness.

“Following the completion of the A9/A96 Connections Study in 2016, the need for grade-separating the Longman roundabout was identified.

“Design work on the grade separation of the A9/A82 Longman Roundabout will start later this summer following the appointment of a design consultant. They will look at options for improving this well-known traffic bottleneck in Inverness.

“The Inshes to Smithton scheme is also being taken forward as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and we are working closely with our colleagues in the Highland Council to ensure that the scheme fits with their development plan for the area east of the A9.

“Last year we presented the route options under consideration to the public for vital feedback and we continue to progress the assessment of these options as we work towards identifying a preferred route option later this year.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in