Balloch Junction is as its name implies a junction near the Balloch area of Inverness between the A96 and Barn Church Road, which leads to the Inverness suburbs of Smithton, Culloden and Balloch. The junction is a simple T-junction, but such is the volume of traffic that it can be near impossible for traffic to turn right onto the main road from here at peak times, and long queues form back towards Balloch. A similar junction further west at the other end of Barn Church Road was replaced with the Smithton Roundabout in 2004, to combat an even more acute problem, and helped ease traffic here, with many locals choosing a slightly longer route via the roundabout.
With the plans to upgrade the A96 to dual carriageway from Inverness to the east side of Nairn now progressing, this junction is likely to be fully replaced in the coming years. The new junction, as at Smithton, will be a dumbbell interchange, built entirely to the south of the existing A96 line. Barn Church Road will also be slightly realigned, with a new shorter and tighter curve to bring it to the south roundabout, whilst the north roundabout will lie to the south of the existing A96, with the road curved to meet it. This will presumably allow the existing road to remain open almost throughout without obstructions.
Both roundabouts will have 5 arms, the majority of which are self explanatory (2 sliproads, the connecting road over the bridge, 2 connections to the old A96 to the north and Barn Church Road to the south). The south roundabout will also have a link to Bessel Street, a track providing access to farms which currently meets the A96 a short distance to the east of the current junction. As this will be cut by the new dual carriageway, it will be turned alongside to meet the new roundabout. The old A96 is to be retained to provide access to properties.
It seems likely that the B9039 will be extended westwards to this junction, along the current A96, as there will be no separate junction near the existing one. As the majority of traffic from the B9039 is continuing west on the A96, this is unlikely to be a problem.
|Aberdeen, Nairn, Airport|
|Balloch, Culloden, Smithton|