Inverness Retail Park Roundabout
|Inverness Retail Park Roundabout|
The A96 starts at its Inverness end with the glorious grade separated Raigmore Interchange and heads east with a decent dual carriageway. Half a mile later it crashes into the at-grade Inverness Retail Park Roundabout, which, despite two onward lanes, marks the effective end of any Dual Carriageway on the route for the next 90 miles. With three approach lanes on the A96, and a wide circulating carriageway, there can be some conflict with traffic at the junction, particularly as two of the exits narrow quite quickly. To try and combat this, the inside lane on the roundabout was hatched out, although this is routinely ignored by traffic. However, plans are now progressing to dual the A96 past Nairn, which should see this junction being rebuilt.
To add confusion to this junction, it is also known as West Seafield Roundabout, and less commonly as Inverness Retail Park Junction (by Transport Scotland) and just Seafield Roundabout. However, as the retail park is also known as Seafield or Eastfield, the confusion isn't restricted to the junction!
The roundabout, as its name implies, is a junction between the A96 and feeder roads into the Retail Park. However, depending on the final plans for the redevelopment of the Inshes Junction on the A9, and the possible extension of the B8082, this junction may one day serve a greater purpose, with a route heading south west from here, and through Inshes to meet the current B8082, which in turn is being extended at the other end to cross the river and canal to meet the A82 to the south of the city.
For now, however, this busy junction provides access to the retail park, including the biggest of Inverness' 4 Tesco stores. It also allows traffic from Inverness to U-turn and so access the business park, with offices and Hotel, that lies between here and Raigmore, and so prevent the need for an intermediate right turn facility.
As noted above, the roundabout is likely to be replaced as part of the dualling works for the A96 to the east. The plans published so far, however, omit the junction due to the uncertainties of the new link to the Inshes Junction on the A9. It is hoped that all of the issues will be resolved and that a final design for the new junction will be provided soon, although whether this is likely to be a Dumbbell or full Roundabout Interchange is not yet clear. The amount of land available will presumably be a major factor in the redesign.
|Aberdeen, Nairn, Airport, Smithton, Culloden, Balloch|
|Inverness Retail & Business Park|