Inshes junction improvements

Inshes Junction Improvements Phase 2

A recommendation to remove proposals for a link road from Sir Walter Scott Drive at the ‘Eagle’ roundabout to the Drakies area will be included in a report to The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee on Thursday 18 November 2021.

In an online meeting on the 27 October 2021 Highland Council officers met with representatives of Culcabock and Drakies Community Council.

The meeting addressed the responses to a public consultation on proposals to Inshes Junction Improvements. The vast majority of comments and feedback provided are related to the proposed link road to Drakies from the Eagle Roundabout.

Council officers have taken into account the majority community feedback and will be recommending in a report to the City of Inverness Area Committee that the proposed Drakies Link Road is removed from the Inshes Junction Improvements scheme.

Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee will consider the revised recommendations on 18 November 2021.

Transport Scotland will construct a new road (East Link) linking the bridge crossing the A9 at Inshes to Smithton roundabout (the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton project). This new road and the improvements to the Inshes corridor need to be designed to support existing trips as well as major city expansion east of the A9. The Inshes junction is one of the busiest in the city and forms a bottleneck for a lot of people travelling to other destinations as well as Inshes itself. The Council therefore needs to ensure this corridor is designed to enable people to choose the healthiest modes of transport.

The area around the Inshes junction comprises several neighbourhoods and some of the city's largest employment destinations. It is estimated that 13,000 people work in the immediate vicinity of the junction. Inshes Retail Park and Raigmore Hospital are also key destinations for the whole Highland region which means pressure on this part of the transport network is sustained and likely to increase in the coming years. This is because, as well as people seeking to travel to this part of the city, it also serves as a key intersection being only one of three crossing points of the A9 trunk road. There is limited space through this corridor and it is therefore important that we make the fairest, most efficient use of the space.

Following the consultation process, Officers will present the findings and recommendation on a preferred route to the City of Inverness and Area Committee in Winter 2021/22. Following Members' approval, a range of statutory processes will commence to enable construction of the preferred route.