Inverness City Partnership, The Highland Council and Tulloch Civil Engineering Ltd have agreed a switch over date of Monday 22 January 2006 to introduce new traffic movement arrangements in the city centre. The changes are taking place as part of the first phase of the City Centre Streetscape and Traffic Management Programme to allow drivers to get used to the new access arrangements and pave the way for construction works.
The traffic flow will change direction in north Church Street from Friar’s Lane to Queensgate, and will also be reversed in Post Office Avenue towards Academy Street. The short section of Church Street from Baron Taylor’s Street to Union Street will become one way towards Union Street. All vehicles will be permitted to turn left as well as right at the exit from Queensgate (and straight on to Strother’s Lane). A right turn will also be allowed from Margaret Street to Academy Street.
Detailed drawings can be viewed in the window of The Highland Council Service Point from 22nd December 2006 and within the City Partnership Office from 8th January 2007. Advance road signs will be erected a few weeks before the changeover and posters will be put up throughout the city centre to alert pedestrians.
Marie Mackintosh, city partnership officer said “The new circulation system is designed to reduce unnecessary traffic in an important retail and business area of the Old Town while still maintaining vehicle access, and making the bus routes more efficient. We are making the changes in January to allow drivers to get used to them and to ease traffic management during the Streetscape construction works.”
The first signs of activity will be engineers working on the traffic signals. Early Streetscape works will address the two main entrances to Church Street. Then work will start to create a new pedestrian crossing at Bridge Street to draw people into Church Street and the Old Town. Thereafter, in carefully planned stages, sections of the pavements, then parking, loading and bus bays will be reconstructed using Caithness flagstones and granite.
Marie added: “The streets will remain open while works are on-going with full access to all businesses and residences. While we would ask drivers to use the car parks as much as possible there is no need to avoid the city centre.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Water hope to make a New Year announcement confirming plans for main replacement works in the area. These will take place in conjunction with Streetscaping works by Tulloch Civil Engineering Ltd.
Tulloch is setting up a site office in the city centre. They will have site managers based there to oversee both projects.
Iain Henderson, managing director of Tulloch Civil Engineering Ltd, said: "We look forward to receiving the go-ahead to start work on this exciting project which on completion will be of such immense benefit to users of the city centre.
"It will be a major challenge for us and such high-profile work will inevitably cause some disruption. But we have put in a great deal of planning, in conjunction with The Highland Council's project managers, aimed at minimising inconvenience to pedestrians, motorists, retailers and shoppers. We are opening a site office in Friars Street and our site managers will be ready to advise and inform anyone affected on an ongoing basis."
A new display will be set up in the City Partnership Office by the time works start to inform the public of the plans and help them visualise how things will look.
Marie Mackintosh, city partnership officer, said: “We are delighted to get work underway on this project. This is the start of a £6m investment in our city centre which will transform the historic core of Inverness in a sympathetic and sensitive way. I hope people will begin to get excited about the future outcome, that they will come along and see how work is progressing and continue to support the shops and businesses in the old town.”
Note to newsdesks: A Background: These works form part of a wider [90 week] programme to revitalise the city centre. Tulloch has been awarded the £4.573m construction contract. The project costs are jointly funded by the Scottish Executive’s Cities Growth Fund and Public Transport Fund, Inverness Common Good Fund, The Highland Council and HIE Inverness & East Highland.
For further information contact: Marie Mackintosh, city partnership officer, Inverness City Partnership, 20 Bank Street, INVERNESS, IV1 1QU, Tel 01463 723539 email@example.com