A82 crossing of Inverness: what a mess!

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.

12 Replies to “A82 crossing of Inverness: what a mess!”

  1. It would be good to think that, in a supposed democracy, BEAR is responsible to the people in some way! This seems like one for the Scottish ministers.

    Cycle tracks that do not ‘work’ are worse than useless – they cost money and don’t get used. Roundabouts are a particular issue – few cyclists are brave enough to tackle the ‘Black Bridge’ roundabout and having to get off and walk is neither satisfactory nor safe.

    ‘Space’ isn’t any excuse – it’s something few pre-car cities have – although Kenneth Street is a particular challenge.

  2. Having spent a career in transport planning I am afraid that Trunk Roads have historically put the movement of long distance, strategic traffic ahead of all other factors. This is Bear’s remit and Transport Scotland, the ultimate highway authority are not very progressive. Highland Council only have a consultee role. The key counter is to put forward practical, pragmatic and effective, small scale adjustments that integrate proper facilities for cyclists and pedestrians having due regard for wider transportation needs.

  3. Any new plans for the A 82 in Inverness should encourage more active travel throughout the city. The Scottish Government has just appointed a new Active Nation Commissioner. Can Lee Craigie get involved to push for a re-think? Current plans are a major setback and lost opportunity.

  4. Inverness has much more space than most of the European cities which manage to provide good cycle/pedestrian through travel routes. Please if redesigning routes look to the future, good cycle infrastructure now will save money, and make Inverness a safer place to travel.

  5. I urge Bear Scotland to be wise on this and to take full advantage of the knowledge and wisdom of the local community and business providers of Inverness to ensure that a fully usable and appropriate shared route is created the full length of theA82 running through Inverness

    1. Thanks Donnah – let us know if you want to get involved with our campaigning. We are just starting out and keen to gather those interested! ALl the best and thanks for your comment – OYSI.

  6. In this day and age it seems to me that it should be a priority to assist the general public to get more exercise and be able to feel safe while doing so. Cycling is one of the best ways to do so. Please Bear rethink your plans and make Inverness a cycling city.

  7. A cycle path that gives way at every intersection is worse than useless. It won’t be used by the majority of cyclists, costs money, takes up valuable space, annoys drivers when cyclists don’t use it, and policymakers think that they have done something good. Cyclists and others want to be able to flow smoothly. Cycle routes don’t need to exactly mirror main roads but they need to get to the same places.

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