Inshes junction improvements

Inshes Junction Improvements Phase 2

Inshes Junction Improvements

Update July 2021 - Consultation period extended

The Highland Council is consulting on design options to improve Inshes corridor to connect new sections of the city's transport network together.

The public consultation for Inshes Corridor Improvements has been extended for a further 6 weeks until the 10th of September 2021. This is to allow for a face to face drop in session to provide an opportunity to discuss the scheme. Until now the Covid-19 restrictions have precluded face to face Council events. As the restrictions continue to be relaxed across Scotland face to face meetings are now possible. The date and time of the public meeting will be published shortly.  The Council still invites comment through the web portal. 

View and comment on the consultation
 
To date there has been a significant representation in opposition to the link road, shown from the Drakies Estate to the Eagle Roundabout on Sir Walter Scott Drive. This opposition will be reported to the City of Inverness Area Committee when they consider the recommendations later this year. This link road does not have any other purpose other than creating an alternative access/egress for the residents of Drakies. The predominant east-west flow in the Inshes Corridor, at peak times, blocks traffic entering and leaving Drakies from the east. The new link was proposed to relieve this pressure and provide an alternative access for residents. In order to resolve a misunderstanding regarding the inclusion of this link within the consultation - the link road is not associated with any other development in the area. Its removal or inclusion in the scheme is entirely based on the results of the consultation, subject to the approval of the Committee.
 
Transport Scotland will construct a new road (East Link) linking people from 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 Member's approval, a range of statutory processes will commence to enable construction of the preferred route.