After months of discussion, and after Highland Council had tried to get approval for a nonsensical suggestion, the Council has finally seen sense and approved the Raigmore Bus Gate solution proposed by Scottish Conservative Cllr Isabelle MacKenzie.
Commenting about the decision, Isabelle said:
"I was fully involved in the previous planning application last year - it took 9 months of my life! I made contact with all the stakeholders: Bristow Helicopter; British Helicopter Association; SAS; NHSH Estate; Stagecoach; Campaign group; and the local residents. I informed other councillors from adjoining wards that the planning condition was assigned to Inverness South. I asked for a site visit, including the relevant groups - Bristow Helicopter group arrived by helicopter with 5 personnel/crew to take part in our site visit in July 21."
"It was finally agreed to take the matter back to SPAC (planning) last December, where the Chair, Jimmy Gray, would not allow me to speak, but I put the relevant coherent points by email to the committee, asking that they consider this with a site visit. Fortunately they did so and firmly rejected the Planning Application. I also suggested that Cllr Gray was not able to chair as he had already made it clear how he was going to vote."
"The Planning Application was brought back last week after HC had further consultation with NHSH, Stagecoach and Bristow to work out an alternative route - effectively the one I had proposed. We will see how effective the additional bus service to the Raigmore Estate will be - the current one to City Centre is underused."
"I am absolutely delighted that we've come back a year later to this proposal, because the previous proposal was completely inappropriate".
Cllr MacKenzie would still like to see improvements at the junction with the Old Perth Road, where the traffic is "horrific", and she welcomed the introduction of the more environmentally-friendly buses.