Council warns motorists of major traffic disruptions in City Centre

The Highland Council is warning motorists, pedestrians and the general public of a major disruption to traffic in Inverness City Centre which will take effect from Monday 9th October and could remain in place until the end of the year.

The disruption will be caused by the installation of a new gas main on Academy Street in Inverness and as part of the City Centre Streetscape works due to commence in 2007 the Council is taking the opportunity to undertake necessary traffic signal refurbishment works during the gas main replacement to minimise future disruption to Academy Street.

From Monday 9th Oct, temporary traffic measures will be put in place which are required as part of a wider temporary traffic management plan considered necessary during the installation of the new gas main by Scotland Gas Networks (SGN).

The following temporary traffic restrictions will come into force:

• On Academy Street general traffic will only be permitted to proceed in a north-westerly direction from Falcon Square to Friars Lane. Traffic wishing to enter Academy Street from Friars Lane will be prohibited. Special provisions have been made to minimise disruption to buses, taxis, refuse vehicles, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles to premises located on Academy Street, and pedal cyclists.

• No vehicles (except for buses, taxis, refuse vehicles, emergency and delivery vehicles and pedal cycles) will be allowed to access Margaret Street from Farraline Park. Permitted traffic travelling from Margaret Street onto Academy Street will be able to turn right onto Academy Street as the no-right-hand turn restrictions will be temporarily removed.

• Traffic will also temporarily be prohibited from turning right from Church Street into Queensgate (with the exception of buses, taxis, emergency vehicles, refuse vehicles, vehicles making deliveries to premises fronting Queensgate only, or pedal cycles).

• The taxi ranks that are normally situated on Academy Street will be temporarily suspended and alternative temporary taxi ranks will be provided on Union Street and Queensgate.

• There will be no pay and display parking on Union Street and Queensgate.

• All traffic travelling on Academy Street towards Friars lane (north) will still be able to turn left onto Union Street. Also traffic travelling north on Academy Street will initially be able to turn right into Strother’s Lane to access the bus station.

• Station Square will be closed  and all rail travellers being dropped off by vehicle should access the station from the rear access road behind Falcon Square or via Railway Terrace and the rear station car park.

Les Houlker, The Highland Council’s Technical Manager with TEC Services said: “We will be signposting all the changes to the traffic flow however, the message that we want to get across to private motorists over the next three months is to avoid the City Centre where-ever possible or to take the bus, taxi or cycle.

“Motorists are advised that access restrictions to private vehicles onto Margaret Street and Fraser Street will be enforced by the Police and Traffic Wardens.”

Colin Small, Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) said: “The work by Scotland Gas Networks is being done under Statutory requirements as the current mains system requires replacement. Obviously there will be disruption to traffic and business users but we have worked in close cooperation with The Highland Council to bring the works forward into this winter 2006 to avoid disruption during Highland 2007 and the summer holiday period.”

The temporary traffic restrictions will take effect from Monday 9th October and will remain in force for a period of up to 12 weeks which could be until 31st December.

For further information please contact:

Les Houlker, Technical Manager, The Highland Council, TEC Services tel: (01463) 703102.

Colin Small, Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) tel: 01463 234106 or Sharron Miller-McKenzie and Anne Neilson, Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) press office on tel: 0870 900 0410

28 Sep 2006