Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A new White Bridge within 2-3 years - campaign success - Michael Green's speech to his Highland Council colleagues earlier today

"I don’t think there is anybody here today who is not aware the importance of the Whitebridge for Cawdor and the surrounding area.

The Whitebridge is a strategic bridge, it’s also the oldest in the council estate with the B9090 being the main commercial artery for the area.

The recently imposed 18 ton weight restriction will cause years of hardship, expense and delays for the farming and forestry community’s and local businesses alike, as they seek to reconfigure their transport arrangements.

There is also the detrimental effect on road safety to be considered, as heavy goods vehicles, through necessity find new routes through the surrounding countryside.

The bridge is a strategic bridge, it’s also the oldest in the council estate and a speedy replacement is essential.

However, before I urge my colleagues to endorse the recommendation for a new bridge, I have two additional points to make. Firstly, I would like to thank to Mr Howell, Head of Infrastructure and his team, for their management of the project. From community consultation with the Cawdor Community Council and the Whitebridge Community Support Group, through to the fast tracked preparation of the proposals in front of us today, their performance brings nothing but credit to their department and the Highland Council.

In addition, I would also like to highlight the role of local Ward 18 members Cllrs Balfour and Stephen.

They have raised concerns about the condition of the existing Whitebridge over a period of many years and have played a pivotal role in the replacement project.

The second point i would like to make regards Nairn and the potentially disastrous impact on traffic flow that rerouting large numbers of additional heavy goods vehicles through Nairn, via the A96 could have.

At our recent meeting last week with Transport Scotland, they provided data, most of it from bluetooth monitoring regarding traffic flow through Nairn. At peak times, it takes between 8-9 minutes to cover the 2 plus miles to journey through Nairn. However, we all know how fragile and precarious the current set up is, as evidenced by the gridlock that occurred over an entire weekend due to work carried out by Scottish Gas .

Mr Howell and his team will be carrying out a traffic impact assessment following the closure of the Whitebridge to heavy goods vehicles.

I stressed to senior figures at Transport Scotland the absolute necessity of working in conjunction with Highland Council to use the combined data to bring forward asap mitigation measures, eg switching off traffic lights, so as to proactively alleviate potential gridlock.

They will have the combined data, they are the professionals, they know their business and we look to them to come up with a proactive evidenced based solution.

In the interim I whole heartedly support the recommendation and would urge my colleagues to do likewise."

Earlier today we published reaction from the White Bridge support group and Cawdor and West Nairnshire Community Council, you can read that here. 


Anonymous said...

how can i put this.


money wont be found, bypass will be underway, people will have forgotten and it will be out of favour...

and all this talk of heavy goods on the A96 and finding new routes through the countryside, well no one cared about the heavy goods coming through our bit of the countryside INSTEAD of the A96 , and effectively bringing a premature end to this lovely old bridge.
The main artery rounds (isnt that what the A denotes) is designed *FOR* these types of vehicles and the frequency.
Ensure proper infrastructure is in and around Nairn for the vehicle it must carry and the business that need it.
This, and all the other stories now coming into the Public view, about the Traffic and Nairn, has shown the Councils have just buried their head in the sand for far too long and ignored the countryside rat runs, traffic lights in nairn issues, and the ever increasing traffic being brought to Nairn through housing developments and business parks and retail giants with no investment in our infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to travel through Nairn at busy times in 8-9 minutes, 20 minutes at best and usually 30 or more. I'm sure many A96 drivers would support my figures so my question is why is such inaccurate information being used or accepted?

It would seem Transport Scotland is trying to whitewash the serious traffic problems that Nairn has, their figures need to be challenged.

I'm sure it would be easy enough to record independent accurate traffic flow figures? As for them being 'professionals'

Anonymous said...

At 8:00pm this evening it took me 9 minutes to get from Sandown Farm Lane to the roundabout at Sainsbury's. Not a deadly scientific measurement but as I passed the turnoff to Sandown the news came on the radio and by the time I got to the roundabout the first song was being played and I looked at the clock, 9 minutes past 8

But 8:00pm is hardly peak time, is it? I think we're being duped with these figures and I'm surprised that Michael Green is not questioning them

We all know that the traffic lights through Nairn make it a very slow journey plus the addition of the 20mph limit when the schools are open

8-9 minutes suggests that traffic is averaging 15mph through Nairn, that just doesn't happen at busy times

Anonymous said...

use a FOI act to get the data Transport for Scotland collects on the traffic in and around Nairn - that would tell us once and for all the true situation....

Graisg said...

Some of that data might be coming our way soon anon.

Anonymous said...

2-3 years, is it being hand carved from unicorn horn?