Monday, 15 July 2013

Diversion on North side of Kessock Bridge

Phase 1 of the Kessock Bridge upgrade was completed at the end of June 2013.
I decided to check out the route and headed North from Inverness.
The biggest problems for cyclists are at each end of the Bridge.
(The South end of the Bridge and the Bridge itself are discussed in other blogs.)

I took the cycle path on the North East side of the Bridge.
There was no choice as the upgraded path on the other side was still closed.
(I contacted Transport Scotland who said the path would open during the week 08 Jul.)
Immediately on leaving the Bridge at the North end, the cycle path stops abruptly.
There is a choice: cross the road or follow a diversion.

There is a painted bicycle indicating a crossing to the central reservation.
This matches a similar pattern on the opposite side of the road.
Crossing is the favourite choice for the vast majority of cyclists.
But it can involve a considerable wait for a break in the traffic.

Obviously, the more eyes the better.
Even with lots of eyes, members of City of Inverness Cycling Club still took
a minute to get across and even then they had to cross each half separately.

The blue NCR1 diversion sign is permanent, clear and suitably positioned.
(Note: The abbreviation NCR should be NCN -
So why is there also a large yellow sign that is simply a useless distraction.
I was tempted to say it's pointless until I noticed the arrow :)
It could easily get blown over and become a hazard.

The indicated diversion is a long detour through North Kessock.
This involves a drop to sea-level and back to arrive at the other side of the road.
It's not surprising that most cyclists ignore the diversion and cross the road directly.

In an attempt to see the route the way a tourist might, I followed the diversion.
Eventually arriving (almost) at the other side of the road I was met by
a barrier consisting of ten cones and a FOOTPATH CLOSED sign.
A blue sign gives directions toward the Bridge but none the other way.

I went through the barrier to see what it looked like from the other side.
Clearly, the cones still blocked the way but there was no CLOSED sign.
None of this made any sense at all.

Having waited a fortnight for the 'imminent' opening of the cycle path
nothing has happened and the diversion is still in place.
I continue to witness and hear reports of cyclists (local and foreign) being unable
to understand what the diversion route is meant to be.

Your comments are welcome.


Anonymous said...

As your blog indicates, chaos still rules after six months. There has only been one improvement for walkers and cyclists since works began, it is now easier to cross the dual carriageway since the restoration of motor traffic to both carriageways as we only have to look one way at a time.
I spoke with a local boatowner last week who had been approached by a couple of cyclists who had been so traumatised by the northbound diversion routing that they had asked him to guide them back to Inverness. Instead he ferried them and their bikes over to the South Kessock slipway.

Anonymous said...

I emailed transport Scotland about the problems on the Kessock Bridge a) as a driver, and b) as a cyclist. The driver got a reply, the cyclist didn't. They don't really care about cyclists. We are, after all, just a nuisance to the great motorised world.