The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

De­light as safety work starts at A9 dan­ger junc­tion

Bar­ri­ers and signs for stretch where man died in three-car pile-up

- BY CHRIS MACLEN­NAN Personal Safety · Inverness · Thurso · Scotland · Sutherland · Gail Ross

CAM­PAIGN­ERS have wel­comed lon­gawaited safety works at a no­to­ri­ous north junc­tion where a man died in a hor­ror crash last year.

A £30,000 pack­age of im­prove­ments will get un­der way on a stretch of the A9 In­ver­ness to Thurso road to­day.

A 63-year-old man died in a three­car pile-up at the trou­bled Ski­ach junc­tion in Easter Ross last sum­mer, in­ten­si­fy­ing calls for safety up­grades.

Coun­cil­lor Mike Fin­layson said: “Any­thing that will help safety at this junc­tion will be very good and we are thank­ful this work is be­gin­ning.

“This has been a long term con­cern of the com­mu­nity, and it is some­thing that is go­ing to im­prove mat­ters.”

Af­ter the cur­rent two-week pro­gramme, fur­ther en­hance­ments will be added with new road signs be­ing in­stalled.

High­lands and Is­lands MSP David Ste­wart, a long time road safety cam­paigner, voiced hopes that the scheme could prevent fur­ther crashes.

He said: “It is a tragedy when some­one loses their life in a car ac­ci­dent and my thoughts go to the fam­ily and friends of man who died there last year and to those in­jured.

“How­ever, it’s good to see this es­sen­tial pro­ject go­ing ahead with new safety bar­ri­ers and signs and I do hope that this will prevent se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents in the fu­ture.”

Work­ers will be­gin a £30,000 scheme to boost safety at a no­to­ri­ous north junc­tion to­day.

New safety bar­ri­ers will be cre­ated at the Ski­ach junc­tion, which has be­come an ac­ci­dent hotspot on the A9 In­ver­ness to Thurso road.

Ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers will also be en­hanced where the A9 meets the B9176 Struie road.

A 63-year-old man died at the spot last July fol­low­ing a three-car crash and res­i­dents have been cam­paign­ing for new safety mea­sures to prevent more fa­tal­i­ties.

Over the course of the com­ing months, fur­ther en­hance­ments on the junc­tion will be un­der­taken, with new road signs be­ing in­stalled.

Work to in­stall the bar­ri­ers is ex­pected to last for two weeks.

Last night cam­paign­ers wel­comed the works and said it had been a dan­ger­ous spot for “far too long”.

Coun­cil­lor Mike Fin­layson said: “Any­thing that will help safety at this junc­tion will be very good and we are thank­ful this work is be­gin­ning. This has been a long-term con­cern of the com­mu­nity and it is some­thing that is go­ing to im­prove mat­ters.

“We will keep a close eye on progress but I am hope­ful this will make a dif­fer­ence.”

Caith­ness, Suther­land and Ross MSP Gail Ross said: “For too long it has been an ac­ci­dent blackspot and hope­fully th­ese im­prove­ments will help to dras­ti­cally re­duce the num­ber of in­ci­dents we have seen in the past.”

High­lands and Is­lands MSP David Ste­wart, a long time road safety cam­paigner, added: “It is a tragedy when some­one loses their life in a car ac­ci­dent and my thoughts go to the fam­ily and friends of man who died there last year and to those in­jured.

“How­ever, it’s good to see this es­sen­tial pro­ject go­ing ahead with new safety bar­ri­ers and signs and I do hope that this will prevent se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents in the fu­ture.”

Ed­die Ross, Bear Scot­land’s north-west rep­re­sen­ta­tive, said: “Road safety is a top pri­or­ity at Bear Scot­land and Trans­port Scot­land, and this scheme on the A9 at Ski­ach is part of our com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing road safety on the trunk road net­work, en­sur­ing it re­mains safe and re­li­able.

“We’ve ar­ranged for th­ese works to take place whilst emerg­ing from the Covid-19 lock­down, when traf­fic flows are lower. How­ever, our teams will do all they can to com­plete the pro­ject as quickly and as safely as pos­si­ble.”

Strict phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing pro­to­cols will be in place to en­sure the safety of road work­ers and mo­torists dur­ing the pro­ject.

“We are thank­ful this work is be­gin­ning”

 ?? Pho­to­graph by Sandy McCook ?? IN­CI­DENTS: Emer­gency ser­vices at the scene of a fa­tal crash last July on the A9 be­tween Ski­ach and Al­ness.
Pho­to­graph by Sandy McCook IN­CI­DENTS: Emer­gency ser­vices at the scene of a fa­tal crash last July on the A9 be­tween Ski­ach and Al­ness.

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