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Highland residents face 120-mile detour as level crossing work to close vital route for 10 hours

Maintenance work on a level crossing will close a vital Highland road overnight later this month – resulting in a diversion of almost 120 miles for some local residents.

Network Rail has said the current tracks at the Garve level crossing are approaching their expiry, and will need to be replaced.

That work will require the closure of the A835 between Dingwall and Ullapool at the crossing, for 10 hours between October 30 and 31.

From 10pm to 8am on those dates, a driver wanting to make the seven-minute journey from Tarvie to Gorstan would need to use a diversion which would take them close to three hours.

The only vehicles that will be allowed to use the level crossing during that time will be the emergency services.

For periods on either side of the closure – 7.30pm to 10pm on October 30 and 8am to 4pm on October 31 – there will be a half road closure, with temporary traffic lights in operation.

Duration of closure kept to ‘absolute minimum’

Natalie Montgomery, infrastructure maintenance delivery manager for Scotland’s Railway, said the long-term benefits of the work would make up for short-term disruption.

She said: “The planned work at Garve level crossing is necessary as this is a key route for passenger rail services between Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness.

“The existing track is nearing expiry and we must ensure replacement in advance of the winter weather, which can be particularly challenging in the Highlands.

“We understand that working close to properties overnight may cause inconvenience for residents and would like to thank them in advance for their patience.”

Garve level crossing. Picture from Network Rail

She added: “We also acknowledge this will cause disruption to road users as a full closure of the main road will be required.

“We are working closely with Bear Scotland to communicate the situation to key users and intend to keep the duration of closure to an absolute minimum.

“While we do appreciate the short-term impact the delivery of this work will have, the long-term benefit is that that we won’t need undertake activity of this type for many years to come.”

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