Use this link to explore the route carefully


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The proposed west link has sparked a very heated debate about whether a new road and river crossing is needed and what the best option is. We are going to examine the arguments and write a report to explain what the arguments are and whether you think the link should go ahead or not.

  • The proposed west link has sparked a very heated debate about whether a new road and river crossing is needed and what the best option is. We are going to examine the arguments and write a report to explain what the arguments are and whether you think the link should go ahead or not.

  • Use the information in the powerpoint and on the internet to look closely and the proposed road and river crossing. Use it to build up a picture of the developments and the arguments for and against it. Then put the information into a report.



  • http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourenvironment/roadsandtransport/newroadschemes/icwl/welcome.htm



The Inverness West Link is a new road and river crossing which will join the roundabout at the new Tesco on the Dores road with the A82 near Torvean Golf course. It is expected it will travel through much of Highland Rugby Club’ s pitches.

  • The Inverness West Link is a new road and river crossing which will join the roundabout at the new Tesco on the Dores road with the A82 near Torvean Golf course. It is expected it will travel through much of Highland Rugby Club’ s pitches.

  • Use this link to explore the route carefully

  • http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=57.486110687~-4.228333949999994&lvl=6&dir=0&sty=c&cid=206337A14C399D8D!118











Highland Council's Local Plan has programmed for delivery of a further 408 homes for Ness-side by about 2014, second to Inverness West with 1,075. Two supermarkets are being built in the ward - an Asda at Slackbuie and a Tesco on the Dores road. There are also plans to upgrade the Southern Distributor Road and also to eventually link it up with the A82 trunk road across the River Ness. Inverness Ness-side SNP councillor John Finnie said the projected growth in ward would bring both benefits and challenges. He said: "There is a real need for additional housing and I hope a significant proportion of those new houses will be for rent or shared equity."But he added: "The growth will place significant pressures on the infrastructure, and public services such as schooling.”He added: "The completion of the Southern Distributor Road will be required and I hope the views of the public will be taken on board, not least the need to retain as much of our valuable open space in as possible."Most importantly, this scheduled growth must not damage the attractive environment of Ness-side."

  • Highland Council's Local Plan has programmed for delivery of a further 408 homes for Ness-side by about 2014, second to Inverness West with 1,075. Two supermarkets are being built in the ward - an Asda at Slackbuie and a Tesco on the Dores road. There are also plans to upgrade the Southern Distributor Road and also to eventually link it up with the A82 trunk road across the River Ness. Inverness Ness-side SNP councillor John Finnie said the projected growth in ward would bring both benefits and challenges. He said: "There is a real need for additional housing and I hope a significant proportion of those new houses will be for rent or shared equity."But he added: "The growth will place significant pressures on the infrastructure, and public services such as schooling.”He added: "The completion of the Southern Distributor Road will be required and I hope the views of the public will be taken on board, not least the need to retain as much of our valuable open space in as possible."Most importantly, this scheduled growth must not damage the attractive environment of Ness-side."



“The west link is needed to ease the flow of traffic through the city centre. The road will allow traffic to connect the A82 with the A9 main roads without travelling right through the heart of Inverness. Also traffic trying to access services in west Inverness will be able to go around the busiest parts of town, reducing congestion”

  • “The west link is needed to ease the flow of traffic through the city centre. The road will allow traffic to connect the A82 with the A9 main roads without travelling right through the heart of Inverness. Also traffic trying to access services in west Inverness will be able to go around the busiest parts of town, reducing congestion”

  • Inverness Councillor



‘Inverness Chamber recognises the vital importance of completing this link for the city or the region. We would view it as one of the most important works projects which the council can deliver. We recognise the opportunities for development in the West of the city the link will provide’

  • ‘Inverness Chamber recognises the vital importance of completing this link for the city or the region. We would view it as one of the most important works projects which the council can deliver. We recognise the opportunities for development in the West of the city the link will provide’

  • Letter to the council from Inverness Businesses



“We favour prioritising the Inverness Trunk Link Road and a tunnel crossing of the River Ness and Caledonian Canal to open access to the north and west of the Highlands in preparation for the development of alternative energy from the west coast. This route will become increasingly important as Scotland becomes an exporter of renewable energy and the technology-based industries associated with it.”

  • “We favour prioritising the Inverness Trunk Link Road and a tunnel crossing of the River Ness and Caledonian Canal to open access to the north and west of the Highlands in preparation for the development of alternative energy from the west coast. This route will become increasingly important as Scotland becomes an exporter of renewable energy and the technology-based industries associated with it.”

  • From a Political Party manifesto



“There is also a strategic argument for this fixed link. The Kessock Bridge at Inverness spans a geological fault line and is a vital link to the northern Highlands. It is already carrying more traffic than was projected. A fixed link crossing to the west at Inverness will provide an alternative route round the Beauly Firth to the north in the event of closure of the Kessock Bridge for either planned maintenance works, upgrading, or damage in an emergency or environmental disaster.”

  • “There is also a strategic argument for this fixed link. The Kessock Bridge at Inverness spans a geological fault line and is a vital link to the northern Highlands. It is already carrying more traffic than was projected. A fixed link crossing to the west at Inverness will provide an alternative route round the Beauly Firth to the north in the event of closure of the Kessock Bridge for either planned maintenance works, upgrading, or damage in an emergency or environmental disaster.”

  • From a Political Party manifesto



Clare Bagley, of Island Bank Road, said if any of them went ahead it would be environmental vandalism.“Along the canal is one of the most beautiful area in the city,” she said “it is recreation ground we will never get back if they run a road and roundabouts through it," Sandy Hunter, also of Island Bank Road, agreed, saying; “It is a beautiful area of parkland. It seems it is being rushed through for reason that has not been made public.”

  • Clare Bagley, of Island Bank Road, said if any of them went ahead it would be environmental vandalism.“Along the canal is one of the most beautiful area in the city,” she said “it is recreation ground we will never get back if they run a road and roundabouts through it," Sandy Hunter, also of Island Bank Road, agreed, saying; “It is a beautiful area of parkland. It seems it is being rushed through for reason that has not been made public.”



‘Most Invernessians would commend the council for developing the Bught and Whin Parks, developing the leisure centre and the running track, encouraging the rugby club and horticultural facilities. They are less enthusiastic at their proposals now to drive a main road through, or close to, these amenities. It is universally agreed that the obvious and most acceptable solution was the original proposal to extend the distributor road straight on across the river, through the quarry to the A82. This proposal would leave the attractions of Inverness as they are and retain our environment. This option has been rejected on the grounds of cost. We are further told that there is “no alternative” to the proposals.’

  • ‘Most Invernessians would commend the council for developing the Bught and Whin Parks, developing the leisure centre and the running track, encouraging the rugby club and horticultural facilities. They are less enthusiastic at their proposals now to drive a main road through, or close to, these amenities. It is universally agreed that the obvious and most acceptable solution was the original proposal to extend the distributor road straight on across the river, through the quarry to the A82. This proposal would leave the attractions of Inverness as they are and retain our environment. This option has been rejected on the grounds of cost. We are further told that there is “no alternative” to the proposals.’

  • From a letter to the Inverness Courier 2.2.2011



‘No more new roads. No more new bridges and tunnels. If the public agencies have a spare £50 million to spend on transport in Inverness then they should spend it on improved public transport. Here's a few suggestions....

  • ‘No more new roads. No more new bridges and tunnels. If the public agencies have a spare £50 million to spend on transport in Inverness then they should spend it on improved public transport. Here's a few suggestions....

  • - Real time (electronic) bus information at ALL bus stops in Inverness and surrounding areas.

  • - maps at all bus stops so we know where the buses are going.

  • - Hourly train services to Aberdeen, Central Belt and North and West.

  • - Extend the Highlander railway card so that Highlanders can get cheaper rail travel on all trains in and out of the Highlands

  • A comprehensive network of cycle lanes’

  • Internet Blog Post



‘Another disadvantage is the incompatibility of a distributor road joining a B road (Dores/Island Bank Road) resulting in compromised safety and increased traffic volume.’

  • ‘Another disadvantage is the incompatibility of a distributor road joining a B road (Dores/Island Bank Road) resulting in compromised safety and increased traffic volume.’

  • From minutes of meeting of protesters



Highland Council said: "A key issue for the crossing of the River Ness is the consideration that the River Ness has an extensive flood plain and Sepa will have to be satisfied that any solution does not impact on it.

  • Highland Council said: "A key issue for the crossing of the River Ness is the consideration that the River Ness has an extensive flood plain and Sepa will have to be satisfied that any solution does not impact on it.

  • "Historic Scotland will also require to be satisfied that any proposals affecting the canal are in keeping with its status as a scheduled ancient monument.“

  • From BBC news article



At the west end, two options for crossing the River Ness and Caledonian Canal were developed. One involving a high level vertical opening bridge which will allow the majority of canal traffic to pass under without the need for opening. The other involved a bridge over the river and an aqueduct under the canal. Both of these designs are technically complex and were considered in detail along by the key stakeholders involved in the project.

  • At the west end, two options for crossing the River Ness and Caledonian Canal were developed. One involving a high level vertical opening bridge which will allow the majority of canal traffic to pass under without the need for opening. The other involved a bridge over the river and an aqueduct under the canal. Both of these designs are technically complex and were considered in detail along by the key stakeholders involved in the project.

  • The five options for bridges are here if you want further details



‘But the absence of the west link, which would include a permanent crossing over the Caledonian Canal and River Ness, from the Scottish Governments budget for transport sparked dismay among several Highland councillors and business leaders in Inverness who feel the bypass is vital for the city's future economic growth. The council will have to find the money themselves.’

  • ‘But the absence of the west link, which would include a permanent crossing over the Caledonian Canal and River Ness, from the Scottish Governments budget for transport sparked dismay among several Highland councillors and business leaders in Inverness who feel the bypass is vital for the city's future economic growth. The council will have to find the money themselves.’

  • From the Inverness Courier






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