Kidical Mass | National Action for Safer Streets

Join us on the 20th of April 2024 for Kidical Mass.
This month we are taking part in the national action calling for safer streets.
We need to make our city a safe place for people of all ages to be able to travel, whether as pedestrians or on a bike. Many people cant make their journeys by car – either they can’t afford one, or for whatever reason they can’t drive – and they too have a right to get safely snd conveniently around Inverness.
This year in Scotland two children have been killed as they made their way to school. Children should be safe to cycle, wheel and walk to school. Join us to demand safer streets for all.

Beauly – Inverness route – Dunballoch to Brockie’s Corner section

Reported by Ged Church, with photos from Graeme Turner

The creation of a safe cycling/walking route between Inverness and Beauly has been a goal of HCC since its inception in 1996 . Yes that’s 28 years ago now! Since 2000 this project has been supported and taken forward by the local Community Trust now known as Aird Community Trust ( ACT ) The first major section was completed by 2003, i.e. the Inchmore to Easter Moniack path, creating a traffic free link between Inchmore and the Cabrich and Reelig minor roads. The finance for that section was raised by a Community Trust paths group supported by Highland Council. We had to wait until 2016 for the next section – Lovat Bridge to Dunballoch to be completed. This was provided by the Council who obtained specific Active Travel funding from central government.

Shared use path at dunballoch.  There is a bike propped agaist the crossing posts and a sign showing shared use.

Now, at last, the section from Dunballoch to the Kiltarlity road junction ( Brockie’s corner ) has been provided, being completed just before Christmas 2023. In between these successes have been many disappointments. When a roadside path is desired there are three main obstacles to overcome. The first is “ Is it possible or are there infra structure difficulties? “. The second is “ Is there finance available? ” . Thirdly “ Who owns the land and are they willing to enter into an agreement for a path?” This last section was initially held up by landowner difficulties. Then, when these were resolved, the finance was no longer available. However Highland Council took ownership of the project and obtained Central Govt. Active Travel funding to complete the latest section last year. 

Image shows a bike lent against a sign at the entrance to the new shared use path near brockies corner.

Many of you will have noticed that the East end of this section joins the A862 main road. This is unsatisfactory as it requires East bound cyclists to cross the road and cycle for 100m to the Cabrich road junction where they must then turn right onto the quiet Cabrich road. There is a design to allow for a crossing of the Kiltarlity road and a link on the south side to the Cabrich road and thus continue to Inchmore without having to cross the A862, but this part has been held up due to lack of landowner consent. We believe that Highland Council are working hard to resolve this situation. Meanwhile ACT members and local councillors are working to make sure this remains a high priority. We wish them success and thank the local councillors for their support for this much desired community link.

The Road to 20mph in the Highlands

The Highland Cycle campaign has long been a supporter of 20mph speed limits for built up areas in the Highlands. The Highland Council has recently begun a trial of 20mph areas and HCC will be campaigning for this. We want to see permanent 20mph zones that are supported with traffic calming measures and enforcement. Here we take a look at the road to 20mph.

20mph sign painted onto a road

A Timeline

1991First 20mph zones are introduced in the UK
2005 The Highland Council begins roll out of part-time 20mph zones outside all primary and secondary schools in Highland. 
2009 Inverness city centre 20mph zone introduced, this was extended in 2017
2012Groups representing Highland cyclists (including HCC) call for measures that bring about a cycle culture – including 20mph zones
2015The Highland Cycle Campaign calls for a 20mph speed limit to be introduced in all residential streets in Inverness.
2018The RESTRICTED ROADS (20 MPH SPEED LIMIT) (SCOTLAND) BILL is introduced at the Scottish Parliament by  Green MSP Mark Ruskell. The bill is not passed.
2020The Welsh Government task force on 20mph publishes its report on 20mph on restricted roads – Senedd Cymru votes to support this. Legislation is approved in 2022, with the limits coming into effect in 2023.
2021The ‘Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Shared Policy Programme’ includes the commitment that all appropriate roads in built up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.
2022The Highland Councils Economy and Infrastructure committee is presented with the Highland 20mph programme. Highland council agrees to trial the temporary 20mph limits, for which it will receive funding from Transport Scotland.
2023Highland Council starts roll out of 20mph limits (lines and signs) in communities across the Highlands.

The Highland wide 20mph scheme went live on Monday 31 July 2023, the scheme uses one Council wide Temporary Road Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) which lasts for a period of 18 months. Permanent Road Traffic Regulation Orders will then be required to move the appropriate roads to a permanent 20mph speed limit.

What Next?

In 2024 there will be public consultation and a consultation with community councils on the 20mph limits. At the end of 2024 (or early 2025) an evaluation report will go to the full council. By mid 2025 A final decision will be made on which streets should be retained at 20mph or revert back to 30mph. The remaining six months of the trial will be used to implement any permanent changes.

Get Involved

The Highland Cycle Campaign is member led – if you’d like to get involved with the campaign team for 20mph zones or any of our other campaigns, get in touch.