A9/A96 connections study

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), published in 2008, included a recommendation to upgrade the A96 from Inverness to Nairn (including a Nairn Bypass) which included the A9/A96 Link Road at Inverness as a potential trunk road. 

In February 2012, initial proposals for a dual carriageway trunk road between A9 at Inshes and A96 at Smithton were presented at public exhibitions.  Following significant feedback from this, further work was commissioned to look at the wider traffic issues associated with the Inshes, Raigmore and Longman junctions on the A9, A96 and A82.

What was involved?

The work took the form of further appraisal of the problems, opportunities and issues related to the movement of traffic along these key routes and the interaction between them and the development in the surrounding area. 

The problems identified within the study area included:

  • delays at the A9/A82 Longman Junction
  • congestion on the local road network and gaps in the local network leading to the trunk road being used predominantly for local trips
  • limited east west routes crossing the A9 to the south of Raigmore causing severance and limiting access to development areas to the East of Inverness
  • trunk road delay arising from Inverness Retail and Business Park traffic; and development proposals being progressed at a slower rate than anticipated

Transport Scotland worked in partnership with The Highland Council during this study to co-ordinate the land-use and transport plans for the area.  The A9/A96 Connections Study was carried out in line with the principles of Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) which looks at all modes of transport including walking, cycling and public transport.


The study is now complete and the final report recommends the grade-separation of Longman roundabout and proposes two preferred options for a single carriageway link road connecting the A96 at Smithton across to the A9 at Inshes.

A9/A96 Connections Study Report and Appendices

Spring 2014 Exhibitions

Transport Scotland is presenting options for junction improvements and a new link road from the A9 at Inshes to the A96 at Smithton arising from the Study. Views will be sought from the public on the potential options with a closing date of 31 July 2014.

This is a joint exhibition with The Highland Council who will also be presenting their land use and local transport proposals relating to the in the Inshes and Raigmore Development Brief and Inshes Junction Improvements – Phase 2.

Exhibition dates are as follows:

30 May 2014 - Inshes Church, Inshes Retail Park, Sir Walter Scott Drive, IV2 3TW - 12 noon until 7pm

3 June 2014 - Old High Church Halls, Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1LU - 12 noon until 7pm

Exhibition materials:

November 2013 Exhibitions

Transport Scotland hosted a series of public exhibitions in November 2013 in connection with the A96 Dualling project. As part of this, the opportunity was taken to provide an update of the ongoing A9/A96 Connections Study.

Exhibition times and locations were as follows:

  • Tuesday 12 November, Nairn – The Golf View Hotel, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Wednesday 13 November, Inverness – The Town House, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Friday 15 November, Forres – The Ramnee Hotel, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Tuesday 19 November, Keith - The Longmore Hotel , 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Wednesday 20 November, Elgin – The New Elgin and Ashgrove Public Hall, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Thursday 21 November, Huntly – The Gordon Arms, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Wednesday 27 November, Dyce – The Dyce Parish Church Hall, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Thursday 28 November, Inverurie – The Acorn Centre, 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Friday 29 November, Fochabers – The Fochabers Institute, 12:00pm – 7:00pm


Comments were invited on the A9/A96 Connections Study with a closing date of 31 January 2014.

February 2012 Exhibitions

Transport Scotland held public exhibitions in February 2012, where initial proposals for a dual carriageway trunk road between A9 at Inshes and A96 at Smithton were presented.