Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Cost of Inverness southern by-pass could exceed GBP200mio!!

It is being 'privately-'admitted (*) that the cost of the planned Inverness southern by-pass could reach GBP200mio, way above the current 'conservative' estimate of GBP120mio (itself well above the initial estimate of GBP83mio). On this basis, I suspect that GBP250mio might be nearer the mark eventually!

I know, despite the somewhat narky tone of the previous sentence, that this by-pass is becoming increasingly necessary. However, according to the linked article, at its eastern end the by-pass will involve a 'Trunk Link Route' (TLR) to link-up the A82, A9 and A96 and is likely to involve the demolition of either the Tesco store there or Inshes Church, a pretty recent construction itself. There are also numerous new 'executive-style' homes pretty close to the Church.

Later in the article, however, it is indicated that Highland Council have more or less committed to retaining the retail centre where Tesco is located, so things probably look bleak for Inshes Church and some nearby houses! I imagine that tonight's public meeting, held earlier this evening at Inshes Church, will have been a lively affair!

Another question that needs to be asked is if the high costs likely to fall on Highland Council as its share of funding this development will impact adversely on other parts of Highland Region? We in Nairn know already how parsimonious Highland Council has been with expenditure here, as compared to Inverness (e.g. the unwillingness to fund proper repairs to the Baillie Bridge across the River Nairn at the harbour, as against the wilingness to pay a significant sum to provide such fripperies as seasonal lighting on a bridge across the River Ness for use on special occasions).

(*) Not so very 'privately', as the details are splashed across an Inverness Courier article. Either the 'officials' referred to are very naive, or the Courier's reporter a venal knave (or possibly both) or the Courier article is completely made up. I doubt the latter is the case.

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