Rock blasting activity will be taking place on three dates during the coming weeks along the A9 Berriedale Braes.
Contractors will be carrying out blasting between 2pm and 4pm on September 24th, October 3rd and October 15th.
Protecting local wildlife
The project follows blasting that took place earlier this year, which removed lighter rock from the area in preparation for construction of the new road. However, sections of heavier rock could not be removed at the time due to a nesting coastal bird colony nearby.
Kevin Knox, project manager for Transport Scotland, commented: “The temporary measures being put in place for the blasting work are precautionary to ensure the health and safety of the public.
“The contractor will endeavour to carry out this work as efficiently as possible to minimise the delay and we would ask for the cooperation of the public during this time.”
While the project is expected to cause minimal disruption to road users, the safety of all travellers in the area and the local community will be of paramount importance. As a result, a range of separate measures will also be in effect:
- All A9 traffic will be held at a standstill for no more than 15 minutes while blasting is taking place.
- Access to the area will be restricted to authorised staff only prior to and immediately after each blast.
- Sentries will be positioned on all access routes and other locations to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic access.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “Progress on the A9 Berriedale Braes is continuing after a minor setback earlier in the year and when done it will provide a major boost to the local area.”
The opening of the Queensferry Crossing in summer 2017 may seem a distant memory to some, but the beneficial impact the bridge is now having should be fresh in the mind of users to this day.
On a total of 34 occasions since its opening, the crossing has remained open to travellers when its predecessor would have been forced to close.
Extra resilience is benefiting drivers
Strong winds are commonplace in the Forth area and high-sided vehicles can be highly susceptible to gusts. As a result, additional wind barriers were built into the new crossing to help tackle this weakness.
Cabinet secretary for transport, connectivity and infrastructure Michael Matheson commented: “The primary benefit to road users is undoubtedly the increased resilience of the Queensferry Crossing.
“On over 30 occasions in the past two years, when previously hauliers, businesses and the delivery chain would have been disrupted using the Forth Road Bridge, the crossing has stayed open.”
Overall, analysis by Transport Scotland shows the additional resilience of the crossing has helped hauliers and local businesses to save millions of pounds in fuel costs, diversions and missed appointments.
What’s more, journey times in the area have also been reduced following the crossing’s opening, saving typical motorists five minutes per journey at peak times.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “The opening of the Queensferry Crossing has been a resounding success all around. The foresight of the engineers and planners continues to help businesses and the local economy to benefit from fewer closures that previously would have come with considerable cost.”
A public exhibition has been organised to highlight planned proposals for the creation of a new link road in the Inverness area.
Transport Scotland will be showcasing proposals for the new A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton scheme in Inverness on September 25th and 26th.
Public buy-in is crucial for success
Achieving buy-in from interested parties and the local community is crucial to the success of the new scheme, so anyone who would like to have their say on the planned proposals has been invited to do so.
Leader of The Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: “We welcome the progress being made on the Eastlink and look forward to it being delivered within the remaining seven years of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal.
“We will continue to support Transport Scotland to progress the scheme and unlock new development land in East Inverness.”
The planned upgrades form part of the £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and have been designed to improve traffic flows in the area.
Detailed designs for the route are now available online and representatives from Transport Scotland will be in attendance at exhibitions to field any questions from interested parties.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “Delivering better transport links will provide a welcome boost to the local economy in Inverness, as well as helping to ensure traffic can be kept to a minimum for the benefit of the local community.”
A series of public exhibitions will take place this month to highlight proposed new plans for travel between Aviemore and Carrbridge.
Both sites are located in the Cairngorms National Park and the proposed new routes will focus on active travel options for visitors and the local community.
Plans will focus on active travel requirements
Transport Scotland is working in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership and Sustrans to deliver this project.
Should the scheme prove popular among exhibition guests and all interested parties, it will focus on creating new walking, cycling and low-carbon transport infrastructure in what is one of the most beautiful and pristine parts of the country.
A spokesperson for Transport Scotland stated: “I would urge anyone with an interest in this proposed scheme to attend one of the exhibitions or view the material online and give us their views on the proposed options.”
The exhibitions will be held on September 25th and 26th.
Pete Crane, Cairngorm National Park Authority head of visitor services, added there is “great support” for the scheme in the local area.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “Connecting local communities through improved transport options will be of great benefit to the area. It also highlights the continued focus of Transport Scotland to adopt environmentally-conscious proposals for new transport links.”
A new multi-million pound project to improve safety and reduce levels of congestion on the A69 has been announced by Highways England.
The scheme will see major upgrades to the A69 Bridge End junction, with work due to start later this year.
Major upgrades to get underway
Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said: “The A69 is used by around 26,000 drivers every day and these essential improvements will make the A69 safer while reducing congestion and improving journeys.”
He added that the upgrade will also improve access to the A69 into Hexham and will support future action to dual the route.
The scheme will involve the installation of new permanent speed cameras between Hexham West and Haydon Bridge, as well as Warwick and Corby.
It will also see upgrades to the A69 junction at Bridge End, with a lowering of the carriageway to enable future travellers to avoid using the existing roundabout.
In total, 90,000 cubic metres of soil will be removed from the site, while minor resurfacing of the carriageway is also scheduled to take place.
Work in the area is scheduled to begin in October and is being paid for through the Department for Transport’s £220 million Congestion Relief Fund.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “These upgrades to the A69 will benefit travellers greatly once complete. They’ll help to cut journey times in future, as well as making the route safer for all.”