Issued by Transport Scotland
Traffic flows on the Kessock Bridge have been better than expected today, with delays reaching 20 minutes at worst.
With major resurfacing works now underway, traffic on the bridge is reduced to one lane in each direction, with a 30mph speed limit in place to protect motorists and road users.
However, Transport Scotland has confirmed that there is considerably less traffic on the roads today as the schools are on mid term break.
Cameron Gair, Transport Scotland’s Bridge Asset Manager, said: “I would like to thank drivers for their patience as these works get under way. There will clearly be long-term benefits for commuters but as with any repairs project of this size, there will be disruption while these are delivered and the travelling public and local communities are to be commended for taking on board recent advice to plan their journey in advance and to avoid driving during peak time where possible.
“Delays this morning reached 20 minutes at worst, which is considerably less than the worst case scenario of one hour. However, the school holidays clearly played a big part in that, with less cars on the roads than normal.
“I would encourage drivers to bear this in mind and to continue to look at public transport and other options for the remainder of this 17-week project, when delays could still reach an hour at peak times.”
Initial delays caused by the installation of new traffic signals at Longman Roundabout last week had disappeared by this morning as drivers adjusted to the changes.
For the evening rush hour, a new slip road on Stadium Road should help divert traffic away from Longman roundabout and drivers are encouraged to use this.
Some concerns had been raised by cyclists regarding the options for cycling into Inverness during the works.
Mr Gair added: “A safe cycle route through the works was very much part of our planning and we have been able to provide this. The route is slightly longer but for us, the priority had to be safety and having cyclists crossing a dual carriageway during roadworks was simply not an option.
“Signage for cyclists has been improved from this morning and a route map showing the diversion for cyclists will be published on the Traffic Scotland website.
“In the long run, cyclists will see some real benefits from these works, with cycle paths upgraded and maintained from the Tore area, heading over the bridge and all the way to Raigmore. Increased parapets on the bridge itself will separate them from the traffic, whilst the cycleways on the bridge will be resurfaced using the same state of the art material being used on the road surface.”
The £13 million programme to upgrade Kessock Bridge will be carried out between 11th February and June 2013 and between February and June 2014.
Transport Scotland is liaising closely with the Highland Council, emergency services and public transport providers to monitor traffic flows as the project develops.
Motorists driving in and around Inverness during the works can access up to the minute journey time information at www.trafficscotland.org. Further journey planning information is also available on Twitter and via the Travelline Scotland/Transport Scotland travel app.