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West link bypass

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Now that this is open from today, the benefit to the traffic system around the city should be obvious and fairly quick i would imagine. Inverness being reshaped once again. The topic being how good can it be? Or are the negatives about to be discussed?

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I think the general answer is that the capacity of Inverness to handle the traffic imposed on it is so woeful that more or less anything is bound to create benefit - partly offset by the effect of shifting some existing problems from one place to another.

I think the benefits are twofold - and considerable. Firstly, A9/96 - A82 through traffic will no longer have to go through the city centre and secondly, on a more local level, the city centre can again be avoided by a lot of people travelling between south east and south west Inverness which are now much more efficiently linked. For instance my own frequent journeys from Culduthel to the Sports Centre will be hugely reduced in time, distance and CO2 output and thousands of others will enjoy similar relief.

However there will inevitably be some down sides. Traffic on the Distributor Road will increase considerably, with extra pressure in particular on the already difficult Inshes roundabout. The indirect effect on the nightmare two odd miles comprising Halfords - Harbour Rd - Millburn roundabout - Perth Rd - Inshes Roundabout - Simpsons remains to be seen. All that can be said with certainty here is that this thread of road is currently it is completely inadequate to serve the huge number of large concerns next to it.

The crux, I think, is going to be the Inshes roundabout in a city where we were told 20+ years ago, when INE were keen to locate the Caledonian Stadium on the Golden Mile, that the effective centre of Inverness was going to move eastwards. In the intervening years this has to a fair extent happened, but without the foresight to deal with the resulting increase in traffic.

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