Smithton Bridge replacement welcomed by Culloden pupils
Culloden Academy pupils Nicolas Polata, Ross McTaggart, Paige Glendinning and Ivan Volynkin enjoy cycling across the new bridge
A new bridge linking Smithton and Culloden, on Old Smiddy Lane, has been opened by pupils from Culloden Academy. This improvement is one of 5 project areas funded as part of the Inverness City Active Travel Network (ICATN), a £6.5 million pound investment to improve walking, cycling and wheeling across the city. The work has been funded by Transport Scotland, through the Sustrans Scotland-administered Places for Everyone programme, and The Highland Council.
The bridge is on the popular walking and cycling route to Smithton Woods and Culloden Academy, and replaces a previous bridge which had come to the end of its life and which restricted people from walking and cycling across at the same time. The replacement of the bridge means that pupils from Smithton can enjoy a largely traffic-free walk or cycle as part of their school journey.
The new bridge has been constructed to allow walkers, cyclists, people with prams or buggies and those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters to pass each other more easily. The path on both sides of the bridge has also been improved to tackle drainage issues so that the path remains suitable for use in all weathers.
Vice Chair of The Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Trish Robertson, who represents the Culloden and Ardersier ward said: “I am delighted to see how popular and well used the bridge has been since it opened, especially for the pupils who use it on a daily basis to travel safely to and from school. It is a significant improvement to the local path network, enabling local people to walk and cycle, enjoy the woodlands and to reach the local schools and amenities.”
Fiona McInally, Programme Manager for the Inverness City Active Travel Network, said: “This is the first in a series of interventions across the Inverness City area for active travel. It is great to see the school pupils, dog walkers and other local people using the bridge and we hope it will encourage others to walk and cycle for short local journeys.”
Sjoerd Tel, Infrastructure Officer for Sustrans Scotland added: “The new bridge is a real benefit for the local residents, not least for pupils traveling to Culloden Academy. We’re pleased to be able to make sure that people in Smithton can make active travel in a safe and pleasant environment part of their journey every day. ”
Users of the bridge are encouraged to share their experiences by visiting the recently launched project website – http://invernessactivetravel.commonplace.is. This website will be used to keep people up to date about wider Inverness City Active Travel project developments and has an interactive a map which people can use to comment on a project area or street.