Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant (pictured), has welcomed the report from consultants WSP, who were appointed by the Scottish Government to conduct a safety review on the A9 North Kessock to Tore route which includes the notorious B9161 Munlochy Junction.
Mrs Grant, who has been campaigning on behalf of constituents for improvements at the Munlochy Junction is pleased that a Case for Change has been established and that this will now lead to the Preliminary Appraisal stage which will include wider stakeholder and public engagement.
Rhoda Grant said:
“The report highlights issues at the Munlochy Junction in terms of vehicles merging from the B9161 on the southbound A9, vehicles turning right from the A9 onto the B9161 and safety risks due to traffic queuing on the main carriageway while they wait to turn right on to the Munlochy road.
“It highlights four Transport Planning Objectives (TPOs) one of which is ‘To achieve an improvement in vehicular road safety and a reduction in conflicts at the Munlochy Junction (A9/B9161) in the short (3 years), medium (3-10 years) and longer term (beyond 10 years).’ Of the 40 options identified, 28 options fulfil this objective.”
Mrs Grant continued:
“These options range in the short term from introducing speed reduction measures, improving visibility and driver awareness to influencing route choice and restricting turning movements at the junction.
“Medium term options include improving the slip road and extending the right turn lane on the A9.
“Converting Munlochy junction into a roundabout and creating a grade separated junction are amongst the options in the longer term.”
“There is a lot of work still to be done to consult wider on the various available options but I welcome these options and will be pushing for short term measures to be introduced quickly in the meantime while the longer-term options are explored further.
“I am pleased that TPOs have also been identified in terms of improving active travel access between North Kessock and Tore, with improvements to other junctions and road safety at Tore roundabout also being highlighted.
“As the gateway to the North and West of Scotland, we need to make vast improvements on this stretch of road and this report is the first stage in doing that.”