New study aims to promote active travel in city centre through enhanced access to Inverness Railway Station
A vital piece of work has been commissioned in Inverness to promote active travel by enhancing access by foot and bike to the railway station via its three entrances and their connecting routes to the city centre.
HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, and The Highland Council, have appointed civil and structural engineers, Civic Engineers, to carry out feasibility, design and community engagement/public consultation for the project, which will complement and add value to the plans by Abellio ScotRail to upgrade Inverness Railway Station and its surrounds.
The goal is to ensure the streetscapes and environments approaching the railway station are safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists and those with reduced mobility.
It is hoped that this initial consultation and design work will lead to future investments where more people will continue their journeys on bike and foot and improve connectivity between the Station and the rest of the city centre.
HITRANS and the Council have been successful in securing funding from the Community Links Programme, which is administered by Sustrans on behalf of Transport Scotland to encourage more walking and cycling.
HITRANS chairman, Councillor Allan Henderson, says improving access to Inverness Railway Station is vital as it is the main access point for many people travelling to the capital of the Highlands, with more than 1.3 million visitors and locals using the railway station each year.
He said: “The station is integral to the links between the city centre, the bus station and onward journeys across the region. It is imperative that walking and cycling routes are integral to transport network plans and it is hoped that initiatives such as these will encourage people to shift to more sustainable modes of travel.”
The Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael added: “Improvements to the public realm and walking and cycling routes are always very welcome. These developments will make it easier for everyone to move around the city and to access a wide range of shops, cafes and local amenities, including the Victorian Market and the old town.”
Civic Engineers will lead the multidisciplinary design team who will take the project through the various stages to draft designs. The company, which has studios in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and London, employs over 80 people and has extensive experience of delivering award winning public realm projects, which have been proven to help transform areas bringing economic, social and cultural benefits.
Founding Director, Stephen O’Malley said; “This project has real potential to build on the successful economic and social benefits already evident in the city for those who live, work and visit Inverness. By transforming the entrances and their connecting routes to the city centre, making them safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists, we hope that people will be encouraged to be more active and make their journeys by bike or on foot, rather than using the car. We have significant experience delivering public realm and transport projects like this and have seen the difference they can make to places, helping them to thrive economically and continue to evolve into healthier places.”