Reduction in speed limits around Raigmore Interchange could be in place by late summer

An MSP has been told that Transport Scotland and Highland Council are working towards bringing in temporary speed reductions around Raigmore Interchange by late summer.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, has now met representatives from both organisations following up constituents’ concerns about safety at a pedestrian crossing on the south bound slipway where a woman was involved in an incident with a car and later died in hospital.

The temporary scheme will see reductions to 30mph or 40mph on roads surrounding the interchange with the goal of making the reduction permanent within 24 months.

“Both organisations will be working together as there are trunk routes and local authority owned roads involved and there has to be consultation with councillors and other groups about the change,” explained Mr Stewart.

“I’m in favour of lower speed limits in that area as we know that slower traffic speeds can reduce fatalities and injuries for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in urban areas.

“Late summer is the target for the introduction and I will be monitoring progress on this.”

Temporary changes to the site and crossing have already being carried out by service provider BEAR – action including removing vegetation and more warning signs in the lead up to the crossing.

Police Scotland previously told the MSP that the installation of two additional warning signs for the crossing is “an insufficient short-term solution” and “more permanent short-term engineering measures should be considered to minimise the potential for future collisions”.

At the meeting on Friday Mr Stewart was given more information about bigger plans that Transport Scotland and the council were undertaking with Sustrans Scotland to make the area more cycle and pedestrian friendly. There are now consultants, previously working with Transport Scotland in Inverness, being taken on to look at the traffic modelling scheme around Raigmore Interchange.

“When the consultants come up with options, I was assured that those will be made public as part of the consultation but there is still no hard and fast date for when this more ambitious vision will be in place,” added Mr Stewart.

“I will follow up the meeting with a letter to both the council and Transport Scotland asking to keep me up to date with progress.”

Transport Scotland previously said temporary traffic lights on the south bound slipway at Raigmore Interchange, an improvement suggested by Mr Stewart, was not feasible as it would lead to stationary traffic on the carriageway and would be likely to result in accidents on the roundabout.

Mr Stewart first called for a safety review of the southbound A9 slip road, which links to the A96, after the incident involving the Inverness grandmother.

There are no pedestrian crossing lights at the spot, but there are some on the other slip road which is only a few yards away.