City forum discusses mitigation plans for Kessock Bridge resurfacing (06/02/13)

More than 80 people attended the Inverness City Transport Forum on Monday (4 February) at Inverness Town House  to hear presentations by Transport Scotland and The Highland Council on measures being taken to cushion the impact of the Kessock Bridge resurfacing  and the River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Works begin on the 17-week first phase of the Kessock Bridge resurfacing on Monday 11 February when traffic movement will be restricted from 4 to 2 lanes.  Works include resurfacing to 50ml depth, water-proofing and construction of new high containment vehicle barriers, retensioning of cables and installation of new lighting columns.  A second 20-week phase of works starts on 10 February 2014.    The total estimated cost is £13.2 million and the contractor is Balfour Beatty.

The forum heard that a number of measures have been taken to reduce the delays, including the introduction of traffic lights to improve access from Rose Street Car Park, Henderson Road (new right turn) and Longman Roundabout, with a bus/heavy goods vehicle priority lane from Stadium Road.

A plea was made by Transport Scotland for the public to consider car sharing, using public transport, cycling or working/travelling more flexibly.  By removing 800 cars per hour at peak times would result in “normal” flows of traffic across the bridge, with delays no longer than at present.

It was reported that the Council had timed their works on the River Ness Flood Scheme to avoid clashing with the disruption on the Kessock Bridge.
On Tuesday, Council Leader Drew Hendry led a Council delegation that met with senior Transport Scotland and Scotland Transerv officials to discuss mitigation plans for the Kessock Bridge resurfacing.

At the meeting Councillor Hendry asked officials from Transport Scotland and the Council to liaise with the police to ensure taxi drivers transporting pupils with special needs across the bridge to school were able to use the priority lane earmarked for buses and lorries.  This would involve the taxi companies giving the police the registrations of the taxis and drivers providing clear signage on their vehicles.

Councillor Hendry said: “The taxi operators, who transport pupils with special needs,  have made a very strong case for being able to use the priority lane and I am happy to lend my support, which has been readily taken on board by all concerned.”

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