Some weeks ago, OYSI attended a preliminary public consultation session about Bear Scotland’s plans to improve the paths and crossings all the way along the A82 as it passes through the full length of Inverness.
The plans they showed indicated a complete lack of awareness of current design standards. They offered more of the same fragmented approach to path design – whereby the path gives priority to traffic on the huge number of joining roads and commercial premises – and ceases altogether at roundabouts. This is not in accordance with design standards and would result in huge lost opportunity far safe, continuous flow shared use paths from one end of the city to the other. It’s critical that we get a good outcome from this work – as almost all other core active travel paths radiate out from the A82. If we want to get higher numbers involved in active travel – we have to get this one right.
As newcomers to campaigning, we were surprised and concerned to learn that, because the A82 is a trunk road, that neither Highland Council nor Sustrans have much influence over Bear Scotland – who are primarily focused on through traffic flow.
How do we go about ensuring that Bear managers understand and enforce good design standards?
Do active travel leaders in Scottish Government have colleagues in Transport Scotland who can scrutinise plans and insist on appropriate design and build?
We have written to Bear and to local councillors, and we await the outcome. Early indications from the the consulting team indicate – “its nice to see how other countries deal with this – if only we had the space”
If we do nothing, the single most important core route through Inverness will remain lost to the many thousands of citizens who could use the shared use path beside it – to travel to work, home, school, shops etc.
This is really important for Inverness.