Smithton Roundabout is as its name implies a junction near the Smithton area of Inverness between the A96 and Barn Church Road, which leads to the Inverness suburbs of Smithton, Culloden and Balloch.
The roundabout was constructed in 2004 to replace a T-junction at the location. To gain a sense of why a roundabout was felt necessary at this location, you only need to travel to the other end of Barn Church Road, which rejoins the A96 about a mile and a half to the east. It can be near impossible for traffic to turn right onto the main road from here, and long queues back towards Balloch can form at peak times.
The Roundabout at Smithton replaces a T junction which itself was not so very old. Prior to the realignment of the A96 it ran further north, between the railway line and the shore. The old route of what is now Barn Church Road passed the cottage, whose access is the fourth arm of the roundabout, and passed under the railway through what is now a very overgrown arch, to meet the main road just beyond. However, as this route was narrow with two crossings of the railway line it was unsuited to the rapid post-war growth of Inverness and its suburbs, so the new alignment was constructed.
Smithton Roundabout is planned to be upgraded once more as part of the Inverness - Nairn dualling plans, one of the early sections of the complete A96 dualling by 2030 plan as stated by the Scottish Government. The first design for the new junction is included in the recent A9/A96 connection study, and is a form of Dumbell. The new A96 line will run to the south of the existing road, through open fields, with the existing roundabout being retained as the north roundabout of the junction, accommodating the eastbound slips. A new roundabout will then be constructed on the south side of the new road to take the westbound slips.
The existing line of the A96 either side of the northern roundabout will be retained, with amended connections to the roundabout, as access for the properties to either side, the western arm being a short no through road, whilst the eastern arm seems likely to be retained as a local access road to the shoreside properties at Milton, and perhaps Alturlie (this section is off the edge of the plan as published to date!).
|Aberdeen, Nairn, Airport|
|Balloch, Culloden, Smithton|