Raigmore Interchange – new scheme with traffic lights proposed

 

Transport Scotland has told Labour MSP David Stewart that traffic lights could be installed at all four entry points to Raigmore Interchange roundabout under a planned new scheme.

The agency has said the move would provide “an equitable split in green time between vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists”.

It added that what the system would provide, at all times, in the traffic light cycle was a green man phase for pedestrians to cross each traffic flow safely in turn.

A temporary speed limit should also be in place on the roundabout and its approach roads in October.

The action comes after road safety campaigner, Mr Stewart, was contacted by constituents concerned about safety at a pedestrian crossing on the south bound slip road where a woman was involved in an incident with a car and later died in hospital.

The transport agency and Highland Council have been working on safety improvements and after the temporary speed reduction, hope to bring in a permanent one with consultation on a Traffic Regulation Order planned for the end of October.

““This is all good news,” said Mr Stewart, who represents the Highlands and Islands.

“One of the issues with the south bound slip road was that it could not have even temporary traffic lights to improve safety as it would result in extremely long traffic queues backing up beyond the retail park and have long waiting times for pedestrians.

“This new scheme being drawn up appears to solve the problem. As a driver I know traffic lights can cause irritation at times, but we must remember there was a tragic death at this spot.

“It was not only devastating for family and friends but brought home the dangers of that section of the road and the need for improvements.

“I’ve also seen a growing trend since Coronavirus of more cyclists on our roads and this project hopefully will provide a safer environment for them.”

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

Transport Scotland explained temporary mitigation work, pedestrian warning signs on the A85 approach and on the roundabout, landscape sightline work and an investigation into road marking changes, were completed by March.

It says the new scheme being drawn up is similar to one being used at Inveralmond Roundabout in Perth.

“The project to provide safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists travelling through this junction is also progressing well,” said Transport Scotland.

“Traffic modelling carried out to investigate various scenarios, which inform future design options, is nearing completion.”

It added: “ At this stage we are only nearing a concept of how safe crossing could be achieved and the next stage once the Council, Sustrans and Transport Scotland have all agreed on this, is the detailed design of the actual layout of wide pedestrian/cycle routes through the junction.”

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.