Essential works will begin at the end of this month to upgrade Dalfaber Level Crossing in Aviemore.
The works, which begin on 31 October, will affect the Dalfaber Drive Road area, where the road crosses the Strathspey Steam Railway line just north of the Dalnabey access road.
The upgrade works are part of a joint project between Highland Council, Strathspey Steam Railway and Scotia Homes.
A Section 75 Planning Condition exists, issued by the Cairngorm National Park Authority, to ensure that the level crossing is upgraded before any further development can take place beyond the crossing.
The works comprise new barriers, upgraded signaling and signage, plus resurfacing, road markings, and improvements to the adjacent footways and drainage.
The upgrade will take place through November and into December, with the possibility of an extension period in the event of severe weather.
Temporary traffic lights will be used as necessary throughout.
Temporary road closures will be required at times for the safety of operatives.
These will take place at night to minimise disruption to the public.
The overnight closures are currently planned for the following Wednesday nights:
30 Nov/01 December
During the temporary closures, a diversion route will be in place via Dalnabay, Dalfaber Road and the B970 – to join Grampian Road at High Range roundabout.
Pedestrian and cycle access will remain unrestricted via the footway and rail underpass between Strathspey Industrial Estate and Spey Avenue.
This is the last Automatic Open Railway Level-Crossing in Scotland and is being upgraded to ensure the site meets suitable safety standards before the end of the year.
The £1.1m improvement works will see construction begin to install automatic half barriers and pedestrian lights over the Dalfaber Level Crossing – known to local people for a spate of serious accidents and near misses over the years.
The work has been commissioned by Scotia Homes, The Highland Council and Strathspey Railway Line as a condition of the housing developer’s planning approval to build 75 new homes off Dalfaber Drive, with access to the new development passing over the crossing.
New rails, sleepers and ballast will also be installed, alongside improvements to the surrounding footpaths and street lighting as part of the remediation works.
The work is expected to begin on Monday 31 October and completed by 11 December, with the barriers being fully operational in February 2023 following a period of rigorous testing.
The Highland Council has been responsible for the operation and management of the crossing since 1978, when an agreement was reached with the operators Strathspey Railway Company.
As part of Scotia Homes’ planning approval, an agreement is in place between the house builder and the Council to upgrade the existing level crossing before any homeowners move in, anticipated for October 2023.
Convener of The Highland Council and local resident, Cllr Bill Lobban, said:
“The Council has been working closely with Scotia Homes and Strathspey Railway Company to improve road, rail and pedestrian safety at the Dalfaber level crossing.
“These upgrades will ensure that adequate safety standards are put in place which will minimise risk to everyone using the crossing including residents and visitors alike.”