|Via:||Sir Walter Scott Drive|
|Distance:||3.5 miles (5.6 km)|
|Meets:||A9, B9006, B861, B862|
|Route outline (key)|
The A8082 is the number given to the Inverness Southern Distributor Road, construction of which started in the late 1980s (The 1988 OS Landranger does not show any of the route). It forms a bypass of the city and taking much of the traffic away from the city centre, greatly helped by the opening of the West Link. The eastern part of the route was originally opened as the B8082, but in late 2017 with the opening of the West Link, finally connecting across the River Ness to the A82, the route was renumbered. In February 2018 most of the signage had been patched to replace the 'B' with an 'A', but one or two signs still display the older number.
We start on the northbound carriageway of the A9 just north of the Inshes Retail park, with the B9006 providing the other half of the GSJ. The two roads cross at the Inshes Roundabout, the A8082 continuing southwards. After passing through a range of new and older housing development, the road encounters the B862 Dores Road, after passing the B861 at the sixth roundabout. The road crosses the new Holm Mills Bridge, built as part of the Inverness West Link and terminates on the A82. Most of the route is a 40mph limit, but as development has progressed alongside the road, the volume of traffic has increased and so traffic slowed somewhat.
Inverness West Link
Starting construction in 2016, the West Link at Inverness is a series of new bridges across the River Ness and Caledonian Canal to link the Distributor road with the A82 near Bught Park. The extra bridge over the canal will allow A82 flow to be maintained, with only one bridge swung at any time. The route was proven controversial, with many reports in the press regarding the parkland and sports pitches being lost to the new road. Despite this the council went ahead with the construction.
The road was officially opened on the 11th December 2017 with a ceremony at 9:30am with traffic crossing a short while after. However the road was unofficially open 2 months before between the Holm Roundabout and Ness Side Roundabout to allow access to the properties at Ness side. The whole Distributor road has a 40mph speed limit but this is not continued along the whole route, with the limit dropping to 30mph before the Holm Mills Bridge for the rest of the route to the A82. The Ness Side, Mill Lade and Queens Roundabouts all have provisions built onto them for future extensions i.e. Housing estates.
Most of the route has been built with verges wide enough to dual the road in the future, although this would probably involve a complete rebuild, as the roadway runs through the middle of the 'corridor'. This was designed to allow for the future rerouting of the A82 across the Caledonian Canal and River Ness, to follow this road up to a new GSJ on the A9 at Inshes / Raigmore and then on to the A96 at the Inverness Retail Park. However, this plan seems to have now been put on the back burner to some extent, with no firm commitment to improve the road, or re-route the A82.