In March 2016 the Scottish Government announced it would invest up to £135 million as part of a £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal which included the commitment “to delivering the strategic A9/A96 Link Road improvement and grade separation of the Longman Interchange.”
Transport Scotland appointed design consultants, Jacobs UK in August 2017 to progress the next phases of the design process.
The route option assessment work as part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 assessment was completed earlier this year with the announcement of the preferred option at public exhibitions held in Inverness in June 2019.
The DMRB Stage 3 detailed development and assessment of the preferred option is now well underway and will culminate in publication of the draft Orders in 2020 for formal comment. Thereafter progress will be dependent on the public reaction to the draft Orders and whether a Public Local Inquiry is required. Construction of the scheme itself can only commence if the scheme is approved under the relevant statutory procedures and thereafter a timetable for its progress can be set.
Public Exhibitions – June 2019
As part of the ongoing community engagement, public exhibitions were held on 25 and 26 June 2019 to give the local community and road users the opportunity to view and comment on the preferred option for the scheme.
Transport Scotland staff and our design consultants, Jacobs UK, were on hand to discuss the preferred option and answer any questions on the design and assessment work being carried out.
Public Exhibitions - May 2018
As part of our community engagement on the A9/A82 Longman Junction Improvement scheme, public exhibitions were held on 29 and 30 May 2018 to let the local community and road users view and comment on the options under consideration for the A9/A82 Longman Junction Improvement scheme.
Representatives from Transport Scotland and our design consultants were on hand to discuss the options on display and answer any questions on the scheme.
The A9/A82 Longman Junction Improvement scheme is located on the A9 trunk road in Inverness. The junction forms a strategic link with the A82 trunk road as well as accommodating traffic movements from the A96 trunk road via the adjacent Raigmore Junction, located immediately to the south on the A9. Furthermore, the Longman Junction also caters for local traffic movements providing a key link to surrounding developments located on the east and west sides of the A9.
The Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), published in 2008, included targeted road congestion relief schemes to reduce conflicts between strategic and local traffic. In addition, the objectives set within the STPR for the A9 corridor included: “Improve the operational effectiveness of the A9 as it approaches Perth and Inverness”.
In 2010 Transport Scotland commissioned Jacobs UK to undertake the A9/A96 Inshes to Nairn DMRB Stage 2 Study with public exhibitions held in February 2012. Following significant feedback from these exhibitions, the A9/A96 Connections Study was commissioned to look at the wider traffic issues associated with junctions on the A9, A96 and A82 and was carried out in line with the principles of Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).
Transport Scotland worked in partnership with The Highland Council (THC) during this study to co-ordinate the land-use and transport plans for the area. The study appraised of the problems, opportunities and issues relating to the movement of traffic along these key routes, the interaction between them and the development in the surrounding area and identified problems associated with delays at the A9/A82 Longman Junction.
The findings of the A9/A96 Connections Study were reported in February 2016 and specifically recommended the grade-separation of Longman roundabout to relieve congestion at this strategic junction.