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Have Your Say on Proposals to Improve Safety for Road Users and Pedestrians

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The West of The Ness Project which aims to make walking, wheeling, and cycling in the area between the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal easier and safer, has announced a new round of public consultation sessions as part of Stage Two of its work.

Chair of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said:

“The West of the Ness project was instigated by two parents, supported by the council, who were concerned about their children’s safety in getting to and from school, and for generally reducing vehicle use for everyday journeys in and through the West of the Ness area.

“The area is a key central part of the city extending from Ness Islands to South Kessock and from the area immediately to the west of the River Ness and to the east of the Caledonian Canal.

“West of the Ness catchment includes the residential areas around 5 primary schools, Bishop’s Eden, St Joseph’s, Central, Dalneigh and Merkinch and Inverness High School so we are very keen that as many people living and working in the area as possible take part in the consultation sessions taking place on the 23 and 25 January.” 

The sessions which will take the form of informal drop-in sessions held towards the end of January at two local venues, will enable the public to give their views on a range of possible initiatives which have been developed as a result of community feedback received during Stage One of the project.

The project is supported by a wider Steering Group comprising representatives of Community Councils, local schools, and active travel agencies.

The project is funded by Places for Everyone, an active travel infrastructure programme backed by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans. 

Grant Advisor for Sustrans, Rachel De Oliveira, said:

“The West of the Ness project aims to make walking, wheeling, and cycling in Inverness safer and more convenient than ever.

“This will not only benefit those wishing to access the city centre, but will also improve connectivity for residents of South Kessock and those travelling along the Caledonian Canal.

“With this latest round of engagement, we encourage all residents to share their views and help make the project a success”

The initial stages saw the aims and objectives being set which were used to create a survey which was completed by nearly 800 residents.

From the results of this, 8 options were identified for improving road junctions, improving paths, and  improving cycling and pedestrian safety.

Within the 8 options 22 interventions have been considered and identify addressing key issues and suggesting potential solutions within this area relating to active travel, safer routes to school, and public realm.  

The consultants now wish to further engage with the West of the Ness communities to test if there is community support for these interventions before progressing to the full design stage. 

Two open public drop- in sessions are planned where concepts of proposed interventions will be on show to allow the community to have their say. 

These are scheduled as follows:

  • Kenneth Street Hall (11 Kenneth Street) on Tuesday 23 January from 2.30pm – 6.00pm followed by a 7pm presentation and question and answer session and the
  • Merkinch Community Centre on Thursday 2 January from 2.30pm – 6.00pm followed by a 7pm presentation and question and answer session. 

For further information contact Alan Jones 0771 882 8088 alanjonesassociates@btopenworld.com 

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