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Mixed reaction to Inshes roads overhaul plans

Alison Irvine with the plans
Alison Irvine with the plans

Multimillion-pound plans to end the gridlock at an Inverness traffic blackspot have been given a mixed reception by motorists.

Transport Scotland teamed-up with Highland Council to unveil proposals to replace the notorious Inshes Roundabout with a crossroads and create the East Link.

Three designs for the new route between the A96 Inverness-Aberdeen road and the A9 between Inverness and Perth remain after Option A – a dual carriageway link – was dropped following “negative feedback”.

They all involve a single carriageway distributor road and range in cost from £50million-£90million.

Transport Scotland has not declared its preferred option.

The public also got the chance yesterday to view and comment on the local authority’s proposals to replace the busy and complex Inshes roundabout with a crossroads as they went on display at Inshes Church.

Jim Gordon, of Westhill, Inverness, was one of scores of people who viewed the plans during the seven-hour exhibition.

He said: “Doing away with the roundabout at Inshes is a big step forward. It’s very bad at peak times.”

But Irene Whyte, of Drumossie Avenue on the city’s Drakies Estate, said she disagreed with parts of the council plans, particularly the proposal to stop-up the junction from Old Perth Road into Drumossie Road.

She said: “To cut off people from getting into their homes is really a bit much. They have got a long way to go round now for what was a short cut.”

Sheila Martin, of Drakies, said: “Something has to be done because of the state of the roundabout. I wouldn’t normally take a car along there any time before 9.30am because of the traffic.”

John MacDonald, 61, is one of the householders who would have been affected by the dual carriageway plan for the East Link road.

He said he had been waiting for years for a decision on the route so he could move forward with plans to build a home in his back yard.

He said: “The other options I’ve got nothing against at all because they don’t affect me, but Option A has affected me for years.

“A house that would have cost £450,000 to build at the time will now cost £850,000 to build because we’ve been held back by the road.”

Transport Scotland’s head of technical analysis, Alison Irvine, said feedback from the public would be considered.

Jimmy Smith, project manager for the Inshes roundabout change, said the access arrangements for Drumossie Road were “not dissimilar” from what was currently in place.

The plans will on show again on Tuesday at the Old High Church in Inverness from noon-7pm.

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