Ward Forum to Focus on Canal Bridge Opening Arrangements

The public will get a chance later this week to have their say on a review of  the existing arrangements for the opening of the Caledonian Canal Bridges at Muirtown and Tomnahurich, Inverness. 

The Highland Council’s Inverness West Ward Forum will have the item at the top of its agenda when it meets at Charleston Academy, Inverness, on Thursday 25 September, starting at 7.30  p.m.

Both British Waterways and The Highland Council have agreed to consider changes to Bridge opening times for the benefit of all users, and have jointly commissioned Faber Maunsell, transport consulting engineers, to prepare a micro-simulation model of the road traffic and the boat traffic at the Inverness Bridges.

Faber Maunsell is then to use the model to develop options for a future Protocol, taking into account the views expressed at the Forum.  These options are to be presented to a future Ward Forum to be held before the end of November.

The aim of these Ward Forums is to capture the views of the community and these meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

Ward Councillor Pauline Munro commented: “Bridge closures on these strategic routes of access to and from the City impact daily on people’s personal and working lives.  If someone wants to have their say on when the bridges should be closed they should attend these Forums.”   

Councillor Alex Graham added:  “This is the first time local people have been fully consulted about canal bridge opening times, and I hope that they will turn out in large numbers. This is the best chance in years to make things better."

The feedback from the second Forum is to be reported to the City of Inverness Committee on 9th February, 2009.  The City Committee is to recommend the Council’s preferred solution to the Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee by 19th March 2009.  The Committee has delegated authority to formally approve the Council’s position.

Assuming the Council position is accepted British Waterways will implement the new Protocol.  Time to implement depends on the exact nature of the changes agreed.

22 Sep 2008