Council to apply for funding to take Accessing Inverness project forward

At a special meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee members have given the green light for officers to apply to Sustrans Scotland for 100% of funding to take forward the Accessing Inverness project.

The scope of Accessing Inverness is to improve the walking and cycling environment between the rail station, bus station and Rose Street Car Park but connections with the wider network will be considered during the next design phase should the  funding application be successful.

During yesterday’s meeting (Thursday 25 April) feedback from the public consultation and stakeholder sessions that took place from October 2018 to February 2019 were highlighted in a document entitled “You said – We did”. This laid out the actions to be taken following points raised.

 Officers stressed that the designs produced to date are not an indication of the final design and the funding applied for will allow for further work with stakeholders and more detailed proposals to emerge.

Options being looked at include widening pavements, reducing traffic speeds and introducing streetscape features to enhance the look and feel of the city centre. Following feedback from the consultation, the team behind the project have given a clear commitment to ensure road crossing are safe for all users. The point was also stressed that concept designs done to date are not the final designs and the funding applied for will allow for further detailed work to be carried out following further engagement.

Members, who all agreed that Academy Street is in need of investment,  were pleased with an announcement made by the Director of Planning and Development that in the short term £75,000 of funding from Developer Contributions has been identified to address the worse parts of the road surfaces on Academy Street and these works will start as soon as possible.

A commitment was given that a specific Stakeholder Group will be established to look in detail at the Equality Impact Assessment for the scheme.

The deadline for funding applications to Sustrans Scotland is Wednesday 1 May 2019.

Speaking after the meeting, the Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said: “The Accessing Inverness project is ambitious and is all about promoting active travel to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport.  The focus is to get people moving around and using the city in a new way.

“We want to work with everyone to ensure any scheme is suitable for everyone. If we are successful in our application it will allow for further preliminary design work to focus on the details flagged up from the consultation.”

She added: “Stakeholder involvement will be key to going forward. This opportunity to apply for 100% of funding is a great chance for us to move onto the next more detailed design stage and while we wait to hear if we have been successful or not, officers will start looking for potential further funding opportunities to deliver the project.”

Members also approved that the Council take over the management of the Accessing Inverness project from HITRANS and requested that regular progress reports come back to their Committee.


26 Apr 2019