City region deal project information

Road Infrastructure: East Link and Longman Interchange

As part of the Scottish Government’s commitment within the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, Transport Scotland is taking forward plans for a single carriageway road connecting Inshes and Smithton the grade separation of the A9/A82 Longman Roundabout.

Latest position (A9/A82) Longman Interchange

Work on identifying the corridor option for the East Link continues and the option for Longman interchange has been agreed in principle.

Transport Scotland carries out a rigorous assessment process to establish the preferred option for a trunk road project, like the improvements to Longman.  The assessment process, based on standards and best practice set by the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB), covers environment, engineering, traffic and economics.  Throughout this process Transport Scotland consults with a large number of people.  Building on the work being progressed on the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton Link Road, design work on the grade separation of the A9/A82 Longman Roundabout is progressing well. 

  • Transport Scotland appointed a consultant in August 2017 to take forward the design and assessment of the scheme;
  • Public exhibitions held in May 2018 to let the local community and road users view and comment on the junction options under consideration;
  • Preliminary Ground Investigation works completed in October 2018;
  • Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment completed in June 2019; and
  • Preferred Option (Option 1 – comprising of a grade separated junction with the A9 passing over the A82) presented at Public Exhibitions on 25 and 26 June 2019.

For the preferred option, the junction slip roads will form a diamond layout ending at an enlarged roundabout with connections to the A82 and Stadium Road. Non-Motorised User (NMU) route improvements are also incorporated into the design and will be subject to further refinement throughout the detailed development and assessment of the preferred option (DMRB Stage 3 assessment).

Progress to Date

Transport Scotland carries out a rigorous assessment process to establish the preferred option for a road project.  The assessment process, based on standards and best practice set by the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB), covers environment, engineering, traffic and economics.  Throughout this process Transport Scotland consults with a large number of people.

  • The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment work was completed in October 2017;
  • The Preferred Option (Option 3, with two variants) was presented at Public Exhibitions held between 31 October and 1 November 2017;
  • Further public events were held on 16 and 17 May 2018 to present updated proposals for comment, including provision for cyclists and pedestrians and the preferred route option (Variant B);
  • Preliminary Ground Investigation work, completed in May 2018, has helped to inform the on-going design and assessment work for the new link road;
  • Development and assessment of the preferred option (DMRB Stage 3 assessment) remains ongoing with a view to publishing draft Orders for the scheme later in 2019 for formal comment; and
  • Progress on the delivery of the scheme will depend on the level and nature of formal representation received in response to the published draft Orders and whether a Public Local Inquiry will be required to consider objections made and not withdrawn.

Latest Position A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton Link Road

Progress to Date

Transport Scotland carries out a rigorous assessment process to establish the preferred option for a road project.  The assessment process, based on standards and best practice set by the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB), covers environment, engineering, traffic and economics.  Throughout this process Transport Scotland consults with a large number of people.

  • The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment work was completed in October 2017;
  • The Preferred Option (Option 3, with two variants) was presented at Public Exhibitions held between 31 October and 1 November 2017;
  • Further public events were held on 16 and 17 May 2018 to present updated proposals for comment, including provision for cyclists and pedestrians and the preferred route option (Variant B);
  • Preliminary Ground Investigation work, completed in May 2018, has helped to inform the on-going design and assessment work for the new link road;
  • Development and assessment of the preferred option (DMRB Stage 3 assessment) remains ongoing with a view to publishing draft Orders for the scheme later in 2019 for formal comment; and
  • Progress on the delivery of the scheme will depend on the level and nature of formal representation received in response to the published draft Orders and whether a Public Local Inquiry will be required to consider objections made and not withdrawn.

The preferred route option with variant B was confirmed as the line of the scheme to be taken forward further.  This will include new junctions at Eastfield Way and Cradlehall, a new link to the Inverness Retail and Business Park and a bridge over the Highland Main Line railway.  Additional lanes will also be added across the A9 at Culloden Road, providing two lanes of traffic in either direction, along with an additional lane on the A9 southbound between Raigmore Interchange and Inshes Junction to assist merging and diverging traffic. It will also provide enhanced facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. This includes a 3-metre shared surface on both sides of the carriageway and a dedicated cycleway and separate footway linking to Inverness Retail and Business Park.  The cycling and pedestrian facilities will also connect into the existing core path, local path and national cycle networks.

Deal Funding £109 m Scottish Government
Project Lead  Amy Phillips

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