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Smarter travelling in Inverness

Active travel is a hot topic in Scotland, with the Scottish Government’s transport minister, Humza Yousaf reiterating a nationwide ambition of achieving 10 % of trips by pedal-cycle by 2020. In 2016, Scottish local authorities were invited to submit detailed funding proposals to develop high quality infrastructure for walking and cycling. In January 2017 The Highland Council recommissioned Witteveen+Bos UK to develop a renewed funding bid to deliver parts of the Inverness City Active Travel Network.

The renewed bid makes a commitment to adding further detail to the original 2016 concept drawings, including technical feasibility, landscape architecture and junction design. Witteveen+Bos UK reiterated its client’s commitment to building a network fit for the future of the City of Inverness, using Dutch design principles. Witteveen+Bos’ proposals included a robust communications, smarter-travel and engagement strategy which will be implemented even before the bid is submitted, to ensure that the public and stakeholders are part of the process.

Inverness is competing against strong and highly innovative proposals, including a Trondheim-style cycle lift in Edinburgh and a new cycling route in Glasgow. But the proposed true Dutch designs will be the first seen anywhere outside of London and Cambridge, and will incorporate a turbo roundabout, a ‘fietsstraat’ (cycle street) and varying degrees of segregation of cycles from other traffic. Particular attention will be given to incorporating major improvements to walkability and access for disabled pedestrians and cyclists. As a result of its renewed bid, the municipality has been shortlisted in the five programmes to be taken forward for funding in the 2017 programme. A combination of Community Links PLUS funding and match funding from a range of other sources will enable delivery of a step change in the ambition and quality of infrastructure that puts the City of Inverness ahead of almost every other municipality in the UK. The municipality has been awarded £40,000 to develop its 2017 bid, which is due for submission in June.

+ richard.lewis@witteveenbos.com