Construction underway at Conon Bridge
Network Rail has begun work on the new station at Conon Bridge.
The station and car park, which will be completed by early February next year, is being delivered by Network Rail and ScotRail in alliance with Transport Scotland, HITRANS and The Highland Council.
The new facility will be open in time to help mitigate the impact of the closure of the Kessock Road Bridge from February 2013.
The project will include the construction of a new 15 metre platform, a waiting shelter, passenger information systems and cycle racks and lockers at the station by Network Rail and ScotRail, while The Highland Council will construct the car park and enhance the road access and street lighting at the station.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Inverness is the economic heart of the Highlands and Islands and an efficient route into the city for commuters is vital. In order to ease congestion, both during the essential Kessock Bridge repairs and beyond, we are encouraging motorists to look at alternative means of travel.
“Additional capacity is being provided on train services during the works and the re-opening of Conon Bridge station will make it easier for people to access these. With £1.8 million being invested in measures to ease congestion during these works, the message is very much that Inverness remains open for business.”
David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: “Rail travel continues to grow in popularity across Scotland and we are pleased to be reconnecting the community in Conon Bridge to the rail network.
“We understand how keenly the reopening of this station has been anticipated, and the important role it will play in helping provide travel alternatives during the Kessock Bridge works, and our engineers will work as quickly as possible to deliver this new facility.“
Located between Muir of Ord and Dingwall on the Far North rail line, the reopening of the station will re-establish rail access for the local community after a gap of more than five decades.
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: “Not only is the re-opening of the station vital to lessen the impact of the Kessock Bridge works, it will also give locals in Conon Bridge and the surrounding area more opportunity to travel by train in the future.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry, added: “Rail is playing an increasingly important role for commuters travelling to Inverness and is a key component of sustainable travel as we move forward into the future. Network Rail is to be congratulated on the reopening of Conon Bridge railway station with assistance from The Highland Council and Scottish Government. This is a big step forward for the Conon catchment residents and will be of significant help in mitigating the effect of reduced capacity on the road network with the forthcoming works on the Kessock Bridge.”
Conon station before work commenced.
Site of the former Conon Station
© Copyright Richard Dorrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Highland Council is among the winners in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014. The Council's silver award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) will be presented during a ceremony at the Hilton Glasgow on September 17.
Members of The Highland Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee have approved the final draft of an integrated children's services plan for the Councilâ€™s Care and Learning Service. The plan titled, "For Highlandâ€™s Children 4" (2014-2019) also incorporates as far as possible the contribution of childrenâ€™s services delivered by NHS Highland.
Children's services in Highland are moving forward with the creation of Family Teams as part of the community services to children, young people and families. This means that most staff involved in providing services to children, such as social workers, health visitors and school nurses will all be part of the new Family Team.
Members of The Highlands Council's Resources Committee have pledged their support to The Highland Hospice's full refurbishment of Ness House and the new Netley Centre in Inverness by agreeing to contribute Â£200,000 of funding towards the total project cost of Â£6.500m. The money comes from the Council's Capital Discretionary Fund for 2014/15 and at the committee (Wednesday 27 August 2014) members also agreed a further Â£285K of funding from this Fund to support four more projects.
Over the last year The Highland Council gained approval of Â£634k of EU grant funding, drew down a further Â£1m of grants for existing projects, processed Â£4.33m of grants through its LEADER project and another Â£481,000 via the EFF Axis 4 Programme. In an annual report considered today (Wednesday 20 August 2014) at the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, it was highlighted that the Council has also been successful, together with its partners, in making the case for control of â‚¬192 Transition Funds.
In the Highlands over the last 3 months 149 employment opportunities have been created through the Council's advisory and business support services. During a meeting of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee held today (Wednesday 20 August) members heard that 71 new businesses have been supported by Business Gateway to start up and a further 122 Highland businesses already serving local markets have accessed advice over the last quarter.
On Tuesday 19 August 2014 members of The Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee have refused to grant planning permission to RWE Innogy UK Limited for a 20 turbine wind farm at Glen Kyllachy near Tomatin. The motion, moved by Councillor Bill Lobban and seconded by Councillor Carolyn Caddick was that the application be refused on the grounds that it contravenes Policy 67 of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan in that the development will have a significant detrimental visual impact, both taken cumulatively with Farr Wind Farm and on its own, at areas of regional and local significance, notably, as viewed from the Slochd, Strathnairn, Loch Ashie, Abriachan , and consequently, the Great Glen Way.
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands' new further education regional board. The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands.
The Highland Council's Community Services have commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to test around 1,150 Council houses in Highland at the highest risk from radon gas. PHE is writing to 1,150 Council tenants in parts of Badenoch and Strathspey; Wester Ross Strathpeffer and Lochalsh; Caol and Mallaig; Landward Caithness; East Sutherland and Edderton; Dingwall and Seaforth; and Aird and Loch Ness Wards during the week commencing 18 August 2014.
The Highland Council is appealing to campaigners on both sides of the Scottish Independence Referendum and members of the public to heed the Council's Highland Referendum Poster Policy and not fall foul of the law. The public are being advised that only the 15 Referendum Agents registered for The Highland Council area are allowed to display referendum posters on verges and lighting columns under the Council's ownership and control.
[Printer Friendly Version]